Inland Fisheries Ireland Sponsorship Scheme 2017 Open For Applications

Inland Fisheries Ireland has launched its Sponsorship Scheme for 2017 which will support angling events and initiatives in Offaly 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. A number of successful initiatives and events in Offaly were beneficiaries of the Sponsorship Programme in 2016.

The Friends of Loch an Dochas held an All-Ireland Angling Competition for persons with a disability in May 2016 in Kilcormac. The event was a great success with 20 anglers enjoying the competition. Meanwhile Edenderry Coarse Angling Club, which is affiliated to the Irish Angling Development Alliance (IADA), held an Angling Festival in June 2016 which attracted over 60 anglers to the area to compete. This was the 25th year of the Festival which has become a flagship event in the angling calendar. The club also held the Irish leg of the British Canal Championships in Edenderry.

Finally, Tullamore and District Angling Club, affiliated to the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs, ran their Junior Angling Programme from June to August at the Grand Canal, Tullamore. In total, 15 junior anglers took part in the educational initiative which offered the opportunity to learn about tackle setup, fish handling and catch and release. Each initiative in Offaly was supported by Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Sponsorship Scheme.

Inland Fisheries Ireland’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 Inland Fisheries Ireland 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. Inland Fisheries Ireland’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 Inland Fisheries Ireland 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 a number of initiatives in Offaly 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.”

Inland Fisheries Ireland’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 from the Sponsorship scheme are now invited from angling clubs, associations or any local group organising an angling initiative. The scheme will remain open for applications until Friday, 9th of December 2016 and all applications can be made online at Awards will be subject to budget availability and adherence to the scheme requirements.

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