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North Wales: ‘Good news’ as Welsh fishermen net cash boost from £400,000 fund

THOSE involved in the Welsh fishing industry will be able to net a cash boost to support their business from a £400,000 fund.

The financial help has been hailed as “welcome good news” for fishing businesses in Wales by Jim Evans of the Welsh Fisherman’s Association, who is urging people to apply.

The cash is aimed at helping those who fish or own vessels.

In recent years fishermen have faced a decline in their industry with added pressures from the increased price of fuel, energy an inflation.

The windfall can be used to purchase equipment such as ice bins, shellfish tanks, and vessel and shore-based scales.

Applicants can benefit from grant funding of up to 80% towards the cost of capital equipment.

The maximum grant award from the funding available is £30,000.

News of the funding was announced by Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths recently.

The help has come from the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) which is co-financed by the Welsh Government and the European Commission.

The application window for the financial help opens on April 3 and it closes on May 12.

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Successful applicants will be notified in early June and then have a four month period to purchase items and submit their claim.

To apply for the funding, applicants must be registered with Rural Payments Wales (RPW) Online.

Jim Evans, of the Welsh Fisherman’s Association, said: “This will be some welcome good news for fishing businesses in Wales.

“The EMFF Standard Cost Scheme actively improves accessibility for those wishing to add value to their catch within a simplified process, enabling Welsh fishermen and women to increase resilience in extremely difficult trading conditions.”

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “We understand the pressures and challenges our fishing industry is experiencing.

“The European Maritime Fisheries Fund has already helped many fishers and vessel owners and the £400,000 being made available will help more continue to adapt to changing market conditions for seafood products.

“I encourage anyone with an interest to consider applying to the fund.”

Application and claims processes can be found from  April 3.

Ahead of the date, details of the scheme guidance is available now at www.gov.wales/support-added-value-product-quality-and-use-unwanted-catches-standard-cost-applications-guidance

For additional help and support applicants are urged to contact the RPW Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004.