First business takes bite at funds available to support the Northern Devon fishing industry thanks to £1.05m boost.

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A SERIES of events are being held for local businesses to see how they can receive a grant of up to £15,000 for projects supporting the local fishing industry.

The small business grants are available from the Northern Devon Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) which is managing a £1.05m fund given to boost the area’s fishing industry.

The first event will be held on Tuesday, October 2 in the Henry Williamson room at Barnstaple Library from 2pm until 6pm and will be formally launched by North Devon MP Nick Harvey.

Jenny Carey-Wood, FLAG Programme Manager, said: “The FLAG programme wants to support our local fishing industry by getting more of the locally landed fish sold, processed and enjoyed within Northern Devon.

“Locally sourced food is an important part of the local economy as both an affordable, healthy food and as part of the ‘foodie’ tourism offer.

“We need to create more products, business and jobs from fish in the retail, hospitality and tourist sectors, but businesses can also explore the economic potential of fishing, fishing heritage and the marine environment through the grant programme.”

FLAG has already received more than 30 project ideas and 12 expressions of interest in grants, and a number of businesses and organisations are in the stage of putting together full applications.

Bideford Fisheries Ltd in Appledore Fish Dock was the first business to receive a grant of £12,000, which will go towards purchasing a fish skinning machine and a forklift truck.

Anyone who applies for the funds must have a trading address within North Devon or Torridge and match funding of at least 60 per cent.

The FLAG project will also be receiving a further £30,000 from North Devon and Torridge District Councils over the next three years.

Both councils will each give £5,000 a year to the fund which will focus on the fishing communities of Clovelly, Appledore, Bideford and Ilfracombe.

For more information on FLAG and the funding available, visit the open event on Tuesday to talk to members of the team, visit www.ndflag.co.uk or email flag@northdevonplus.co.uk

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