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Angling Trust Club Development Roadshows 2017/2018 The Angling Trust will be hosting a series of Club Development Roadshows this autumn and winter. Click here for more information

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Get Help With Funding Find out how to make an application, the types of project we're looking for and sources of expert advice.

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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

What is the Angling Improvement Fund?

The Angling Trust is aware of the need for newer, safer facilities, better habitats and more accessible facilities to enable clubs, fisheries and other angling organisations to flourish and attract anglers.

Unfortunately, funding from traditional sources such as local authorities is becoming harder to find, and better-known funding schemes, such as those offered by Sport England, attract heavy competition from across all sports.

To help increase the availability of funding for angling, the Angling Trust, in partnership with the Environment Agency, launched the Angling Improvement Fund. Because the money distributed as AIF awards is derived from the sale of coarse fish and non-migratory trout fishing licences in England, projects located outside of England, projects primarily supporting salmon and sea trout angling, and sea angling organisations are not currently eligible to apply.

Between successive rounds of the Fund, we will report on how the awards are being put to good use by the winning clubs and fisheries. You can read reports about previous Fund Winners HERE.

As long as a project meets the eligibility criteria, the Angling Trust welcomes applications from a wide range of angling providers – individually or in partnership – including clubs, commercial fisheries, charities and local authorities. Crucially, you don’t need to be an Angling Trust member club or fishery to apply.

In the latest round of funding, £400,000 of fishing licence money is being made available to the AIF. The deadline for submitting applications is January 25th, 2018.

The themes in this round are:

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.

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 combat isolation and loneliness 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.

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

It is planned that funding offers to successful applicants will be made by the end of March and that approved projects will be completed in the Spring and Summer of 2018.

Since the AIF was launched in February 2015, fishing licence income has helped fund more than 200 angling projects worth an estimated £2.4million, creating or safeguarding tens of thousands of angling opportunities in England.

Dr Kevin Austin, Deputy Director for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment at the Environment Agency, said: “The Angling Improvement Fund is a vital part of providing opportunities for people to go fishing and improving angling habitat and infrastructure. The fund forms part of our ongoing reinvestment strategy for proceeds from fishing licence sales. We are working positively to further develop partnership working with organisations like the Angling Trust. This approach is generating more funding towards ensuring the wellbeing of our freshwater habitats and a positive fishing experience.”

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “The AIF has awarded more than £200,000 of fishing licence income to otter fencing projects since it started, with investment being made on all types of fishery after we encouraged the Environment Agency not to exclude non-day ticket waters. This work remains a priority, but the fund will also support other facility improvements on still waters, more coaches to help anglers of all ages get fishing or learn a new discipline, and work to promote the health benefits of angling. With match funding, the overall investment into this integrated programme of work could well approach one million pounds.  It’s great to see rod licence money being used in this way.”

Introducing the new online AIF grant application process

For the first time, entries for most of the AIF funding will need to be submitted online using the new AIF grant management tool. This will replace the existing system based on return by email or post. Applicants should find the new system more convenient, informative and user-friendly, and benefits include:
  •     Autosave function;
  •     Facility to upload supplementary evidence supporting your proposal;
  •     On-screen guidance;
  •     Automatic notification of the receipt of your application;
  •     Updates on the status of your application;
  •     A built-in electronic form to enable you to contact the Fund team.
(Applications for coaching bursaries will still need to be submitted by post or email).

Organisations may also contact the AIF Fund team on with any questions on project suitability.

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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Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350

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