AnglingTrust The voice of Angling

Bolton Le Sands

Guidance for Applicants: Fish Protection & Predation Management Up to 20 projects will be funded for work including otter-proof fencing and measures to combat over-predation of fish stocks by fish-eating birds

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Guidance for Applicants: Spring Maintenance and Fishery Improvements A broad mix of proposals are invited from organisations seeking to make repairs and upgrades to angling infrastructure at still-water fisheries and canals.

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Fishing Licence Money Matters These projects are paid for by rod licence income so that the money received from your Environment Agency rod licence goes straight back into angling - buy yours online

Angling Improvement Fund: Make an Application

The next round of the Angling Improvement Fund will be open to applications from Wednesday, December 13th, 2017.

How To Make An Application

Angling Improvement Fund Round 2  2017/2018

Proposals are invited for the following types of project:

Fish protection and predation management

Up to 20 projects will be funded for work such as installation of otter-proof fencing and measures to combat over-predation of fish stocks by fish-eating birds. Awards in excess of £5,000 will be considered where the applicant is able to commit a comparable amount of match-funding.

More coaches

About 40 bursaries of up to £2,500 per organisation will go to clubs, fisheries, local authorities, schools and projects to fund the cost of coach training and to help pay for equipment and other costs associated with running coached sessions. Organisations submitting an application for coach training bursaries will also be encouraged to apply for places on the following training events:
  • Inclusive coaching: disability
  • How to deliver engaging sessions

Spring maintenance and fishery improvements

A broad mix of proposals are invited from organisations seeking to make repairs and upgrades to angling infrastructure at still-water fisheries and canals. Applications for improvements to stages, paths and approach roads, bridges, parking areas, landscaping and for tree and vegetation clearance will all be eligible. Other ideas to consider might be signage, toilets, washing facilities, general health and safety improvements and other facilities aimed at improving the experience of women, families and young people. The Angling Improvement Fund is keen to fund measures to protect fisheries at risk of low or fluctuating water levels during periods of drought. Between 30-40 grants of up to £5,000 will be available for eligible projects.

Health benefits for older people

Between 5-10 grants of up to £5,000 will be offered to angling-based projects aiming to improve health, wellbeing and social inclusion in older people. It is envisaged that the majority of awards will be made to charities and other established providers of health and recreational services to older people.

Please note:

  • We have deliberately invited proposals across a range of project types.
  • When considering your application, yhe assessment panel will be looking for evidence of expert consultation in the planning of your project, and your projections for the number of angling opportunities safeguarded or created as a result of doing the work. Successful projects will also bring a similar amount of match-funding to complement any AIF grant offered.
  • We are looking for successful organisations to be able to complete the work by March 31st, 2018.
  • You may apply for funding under more than one of the themes, provided you can demonstrate you can complete the project in the permitted time limit.
  • Guidance notes can be found in the right hand column and at the bottom of this page.
  • With the exception of coach bursaries, all applications must be submitted online using the AIF grant management tool.

Other Sources of Funding

We will be updating this page with details of existing and new funding opportunities that you can then explore further.

Tips for making applications:

1. Draw up a fundraising plan for your organisation, covering the next 5 years. This should link the work you need to do, with the funds needed. At the heart of this plan will be the sporting objectives you wish to fulfill. These objectives will depend on capital items or projects, which should be identified and (as far as possible - costed). Select the funding sources appropriate to each item (or project) and note the timeframes and deadlines for applications.

2. Consider making 'funding' a regular discussion item at club committee/ fishery management meetings.

3. Collect as much evidence of the local demand for your project, e.g. surveys of anglers, letters of support from existing or future user groups.

4. Be clear on the benefits the funded work will bring to the fishery and the community. Don't assume this will be obvious. Include quantitative benefits (e.g. nos. of visits by new users, or frequency of visits) and think how you can measure these.

5. Build relationships with local community groups, whether they intend to use the fishing facilities or not. A joint application from two sporting clubs, or for a project offering mixed community benefit (beyond fishing alone) is likely to be more attractive than one solely based on fishing.

6. Funders are increasingly concerned that a project should be sustainable, i.e. that it will continue to deliver benefits long after the project work has finished. You should have a plan for maintaining the new or upgraded facilities and for promoting them.

7. Consider how you will manage and record usage of the improved facilities. 

8. Break the project items into sensible 'chunks' composed of discrete items, and cost accordingly. Don't lump obviously distinct items together, e.g. 'aerators, fish stocks and fishing platforms'. The judges want to see transparency.

9. Save copies of your applications. Your answers to questions took time to produce and could be used in future applications.

10. If you are unsuccessful, and feedback is offered: take it, read it, and use it to make better applications next time.

11. Think of past successful applications as a valuable resource for your organisation. Make sure these are referred to in your applications. They provide assurance that you are a 'safe bet' for funding.

Sources of Expert Advice

Seeking out the right advice before making your application will help you to set achievable goals and find ways to reach your objectives. By getting expert opinion, you are more likely to come up with a realistic plan and avoid pit-falls, both practical and legal, giving your application the best chance of gaining the funding required.

The Angling Trust has copies of the BDAA ‘Access to Angling: best practice guidance’ worth £23 each to give away on a “first-come, first-served” basis. If you would like to order a free copy for your club or fishery please contact the Fund Administrator, Mark Wilton at Please remember to include your name, address and club or fishery affiliation with your request.

There are numerous organisations that will give advice freely or can be consulted about your project. You’ll find a host of information within each organisations website too. Some key organisations to seek expert advice from are: 

Local Environment Agency Fisheries, Biodiversity and Geomorphology team

Wild Trout Trust

The Rivers Trust

Canal and Rivers Trust

Institute of Fisheries Management 

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) |
Calls to our 0343 number are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers.
Office hours are Mon - Thu 9.00-5.00 and Fri 4.30. Please leave a message if you call outside these hours or email us.
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