Communities urged to make use of fisheries fund

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Aberdeenshire European Fisheries Fund (AEFF) is keen to re-engage with local fisheries communities and to help individuals, businesses and communities bring forward applications to the fund.

AEFF has been officially open for business for 10 months and during this time, the Fund’s Coordinator, Ann Marie Macaskill, has been working hard to ensure that the funding criteria is appropriate for local coastal villages in Kincardine and Mearns. To date, the fund has committed over £357,000 towards the sustainable development of Aberdeenshire’s fisheries communities; through improved infrastructure, economic development and tourism initiatives, to name a few!

Benholm and Johnshaven Heritage Society successfully received an award of over £59,000 in September 2012 to create a fisheries heritage hub titled “Our Village: A People’s Story of Johnshaven” in the former lifeboat shed. The project will provide an attractive “hub” that will display local fisheries artefacts in the heart of the fishing community.

Ann Marie said “It is great to see our first project in the K &M area get underway. The project will exhibit the fisheries history of the village of Johnshaven and help further establish both the significance and importance that small fisheries villages in the area have to play in our rich local heritage and enable an attractive facility to educate future generations. I would encourage anyone with a project idea - however early - to please make contact with myself. Full information on the project can be viewed at http://www.aeff.co.uk/flag-projects/aberdeenshire-projects/

The AEFF fund represents Aberdeenshire’s allocation of over £1.1million pounds from the European Fisheries Fund. All AEFF monies must be matched on a pound for pound basis from the public purse. AEFF applicants have found public co-finance support from Scottish Enterprise, Heritage Lottery Fund, local wind farms and Aberdeenshire Council to date. Full information on public co-finance and funding requirements can be found via the AEFF website @ www.aeff.co.uk and Ann Marie is on hand to help.