The fund supported 79 events and initiatives across 19 counties to the tune of €30,000 in 2017, with a particular focus on those which help grow Ireland’s angling tourism product and support novice anglers.
Recreational angling is estimated to have contributed over €800 million to Ireland’s economy in 2017, supporting upwards of 11,000 jobs.
Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Sponsorship Fund aims to support large international competitions held in Ireland which showcase Ireland’s angling offering and contribute to local economies.
The fund also contributes to novice angler events which increase participation in angling among those who want to begin, or who have recently taken up, fishing as a hobby.
Finally, it also helps initiatives which disseminate information that promote conservation and protection of the inland fisheries and sea angling resource and can include seminars, workshops and training.
Support from the Sponsorship Fund can be either financial or resource support from IFI staff members.
According to IFI, angling offers rural communities the opportunity to increase the number of visitors to the area and in turn, support local business and create jobs by providing a sustainable source of income for both catering and accommodation services.
Suzanne Campion, IFI head of business development, said last year’s Sponsorship Fund “supported 79 initiatives all over the country which had a focus on helping grow Ireland’s angling tourism product and supporting novice anglers.
“Tourism initiatives like the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East are further boosting visitor numbers and our Sponsorship Fund for 2018 will support angling clubs and groups nationwide to offer local events which engage domestic anglers, overseas anglers and those who are about to cast for the first time.
“With Ireland having some of the best wild fisheries in Europe, this Sponsorship Fund forms part of our National Strategy for Angling Development which aims to develop our angling tourism potential while also managing and conserving our fisheries resource.”
IFI’s National Strategy for Angling Development is the first comprehensive national framework which will deliver a wide-ranging set of investments, innovations and promotions over the coming five years.
It aims to make angling accessible and attractive through information, infrastructure and support, to develop tourism through the promotion of the angling resource and to position angling as a key leisure and recreation pursuit.
The strategy is intended to deliver significant economic benefits in rural communities where much of angling takes place, while also ensuring that fish populations and habitats are protected and conserved.
Applications for funding from the 2018 Sponsorship Fund are now invited from angling clubs, associations or any local group organising an angling initiative.
The scheme will remain open for applications until Monday 22 January and all applications can be made online. Awards will be subject to budget availability and adherence to the scheme requirements.