#Fishing - Marine Minister visited Ballycotton Harbour in Co Cork yesterday (Thursday 8 June) to announce a range of successful projects that will deliver a total investment of €3.6 million covering 153 projects under the Fisheries Local Area Action Group (FLAG) Strategy for Ireland’s seven coastal regions.
The FLAG Scheme is co-funded by the Exchequer and the EU under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme 2014-20. Over the duration of the EMFF programme, the FLAG Scheme will deliver €12 million in funding to Ireland’s coastal communities.
Speaking in Ballycotton at the event to announce the FLAG grant offers, Minister Creed said: “It is testament to the hard work and dedication of our volunteer FLAG Board members in each of our seven FLAG regions that this year’s programme has delivered so many projects that will enhance the economic and social wellbeing of our coastal communities.”
Over 200 project applications were received under the FLAG Scheme this year, with the final 153 selected by the FLAG Boards for their contribution to community rejuvenation, enterprise, innovation, job creation and skills enhancement across the fishing, aquaculture and maritime industries.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) worked closely with the FLAG Boards around the coast as they developed and implemented their own local strategies, added its chief executive Jim O’Toole.
“Seafood and its wider role in the community is at the core of this innovative programme and it is the diverse nature of the projects funded under the scheme that illustrates the true value of the seafood industry to our coastal communities and also the potential for further growth in the years ahead,” he said
Finian O’Sullivan, board chair of FLAG South, shared his delight that the Cork region “has approved funding for 17 projects ranging from marine tourism, seafood development and production, community-led initiatives, and supports for small-scale coastal fishermen.
“Of the 17 projects approved today, €250,000 in grant aid has been awarded with an overall value to the economy of the South FLAG area of over €500,000.”
Last month, Minister Creed announced the award of more than €1.3 million in grants to 19 seafood enterprises in nine different counties under the EMFF Operational Programme of the seafood sector.