Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched its Sponsorship Scheme for 2017 which will support angling events and initiatives in Leitrim and across the country.
The scheme supported 44 events to the tune of €30,000 in 2016 with a particular focus on initiatives which help grow Ireland’s angling tourism product and support novice anglers.
One of the beneficiaries of the Sponsorship programme was the successful Ballinamore Angling Festival organised by Lakelands Angling Club which is affiliated to the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland. The coarse fishing festival took place in Lough Garadice in May 2016.
The festival saw good attendance from anglers who enjoyed fishing over five days with four sections with an open draw on the final day. The festival was held first held in 2013 and since then has become a popular annual event. IFI supported with Festival with staff support throughout the week.
IFI’s Sponsorship Scheme aims to support large international competitions held in Ireland which showcase Ireland’s angling offering and contribute to local economies. The scheme also contributes to novice angler events which increase participation in angling among those who have recently taken up fishing.
Finally, it also helps initiatives which disseminate information which promote conservation and protection of the inland fisheries and sea angling resource and can include seminars, workshops and training. Support from the Sponsorship Scheme can be either financial or resource support from IFI staff members.
Angling in Ireland is currently worth €836 million to Ireland’s economy annually, supporting upwards of 11,000 jobs. The sector 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.
IFI’s National Strategy for Angling Development aims to increase overseas angling visits from 163,000 in 2015 to 173,000 and increase domestic participation of 273,000 anglers annually by 0.5%. If this is realised, angling could bring in an additional €53 million annually and support 1,800 jobs.
Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at IFI , said “We are delighted to launch our Sponsorship Scheme for 2017 which will support angling clubs and groups nationwide in delivering programmes which ultimately drive angling participation rates. There is a huge network of angling communities nationwide and we want to support them in offering local events which engage domestic anglers, overseas anglers and those who are about to cast for the first time.
“We were delighted to support the Ballinamore Angling Festival during 2016 and welcome more applications of this nature. Ireland has some of the best wild fisheries in Europe and as a destination, we have a unique opportunity to grow our angling tourism product.
“This sponsorship scheme is just one element 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 will 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 are now invited from angling clubs, associations or any local group organising an angling initiative.
The scheme will remain open for applications until Friday, December 9, and all applications can be made online at www.fisheriesireland.ie/funding. Awards will be subject to budget availability and adherence to the scheme requirements.