FLAG North is a chance for community groups to regenerate coastal towns and villages, create and support jobs, enhance diversification and improve on economic and social prosperity. The Fishery Local Action Group North (FLAG North) have launched the Fisheries Local Area Development scheme which provides grant aid towards the sustainable development of fishery dependent areas in coastal regions across County Donegal. It is funded under the National Development Plan and Axis 4 of the European Fishery Fund (EFF).
FLAG North is comprised of a committee of 16 people representing various groups in coastal areas such as fishermen, tourism groups, seafood sector industries, local community and other statutory organisations. There goal is to develop the economy and communities in coastal regions. FLAG North has been tasked by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) to develop an integrated local development strategy and to provide support with regards to funding applications.
FLAG North is co funded by the European Fisheries Fund and grants are awarded to applicants if they fit strategic measures defined by the project. Match funding is provided and in some cases funding will be available for training. Projects supported included those centered around Tourism in particular. Diversification into Tourism will provide sustainable growth in coastal communities over the years and provides an alternative economic stimulant other than fishing.
Development of the Marine Tourism sector in county Donegal has always been an important aspect of the Sail West project, which has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA programme. The MalinWaters brand emerged as the consumer facing representation of the Sail West project and is becoming a recognised contributor to the tourism sector in County Donegal. Other projects supported include sustainable fisheries, training for marine sector communities, Eco-tourism, sustainable energy, harbour and pier development, infrastructure projects and much more.
Grants will be available for eligible communities and individual applicants. Organisations such as registered co-operatives, associations, community and voluntary groups and other organisations with legal identities.
Calls for applications will be made from September 2013 until June 2015 at the latest. This is a very worthwhile initiative and we at MalinWaters would encourage coastal communities and organisations in County Donegal to apply for the programme.