Launch of European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

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MP for South Down and member of the EFRA committee, Margaret Ritchie has welcomed the formal promotion of the EMFF scheme launched by Minister Eustice in Dorset on Monday morning.

Ms Ritchie said: “This fund forms part of the agreed negotiations which took place in Brussels in December. The scheme is already open for application and will run until 2020. The fund is designed to help fishermen in transition to sustainable fishing, support coastal communities in diversifying their economies, finance projects to create new jobs and ultimately make it easier for applicants to access financing.

“It will enable resources to be provided for the development of harbour infrastructure and other fishery associated projects in County Down fishing ports.

“Fishing is an essential industry in South Down, particularly in the coastal communities of Ardglass, Kilkeel and Annalong,” she added.

“This fund will provide a significant boost for the economy in these towns in terms of the fishing industry itself, processing, and the catching sector.

“The funding stream will enable local bodies to lever funding to allow further physical, economic and social regeneration to take place.”