Stevenson hails £2.1m boost for communities

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has described the fact that fishing communities in the North East will benefit from a £2,155,382 fund to improve the quality of life and boost economic diversification as “hugely significant” for Banffshire & Buchan Coast.

The funding through Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) is expected to open to funding applications in early spring this year.

Eligible councils have previously been asked to establish Fisheries Local Access Groups (FLAGs) which will consider applications and decide how the funding will be allocated locally.

If the full allocation of EFF money is co-funded by local authorities, there will be a total of £7.6 million available to fishing communities across Scotland.

Axis 4 of the EFF supports the sustainable development of fisheries areas. It includes measures to promote economic diversification in areas such as tourism and leisure, food and renewable energy that exploits local resources.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said: “I am delighted that swift progress is being made towards allocating this funding. Given the importance of the fishing industry to the area, this is a hugely significant development for Banffshire & Buchan Coast.

“Even relatively modest sums can help make real improvements to the quality of life in fishing communities.”