Angling Trust News 13-12-17

Wed 13 December 17

Get ready for spring! Apply for a share of £400,000 A.I.F. grants for improvements at your club or fishery

£400,000 of fishing licence income is being made available to angling clubs and fisheries through the Angling Improvement Fund.

The money will be used to help fund general fishery improvements, measures to control predation and for coach training bursaries. A small number of grants will also be offered to established charities, projects and health providers to support angling initiatives that promote health, wellbeing and social inclusion in older people.
The Angling Trust, which administers the fund in partnership with the Environment Agency is seeking applications by January 25th, 2018 under the following themes:

• 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.

Further information on how to apply, including key deadlines, eligibility and judging criteria for each theme is available from Wednesday, 13th December on the Angling Trust website at Applications, completed using the new online application tool, must be submitted by mid-day on Thursday, 25th January, 2018.

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. The Angling Trust will shortly be announcing the winners of the 2016-17 rounds of AIF funding.

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 AIF funding will need 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.

A guide to using the new system, including how to register your organisation, contact details for AT staff who can assist you with any questions applicants have, will be included with the other applicant information at;

Help improve the Angling Improvement Fund: take part in our short survey

Do you know what the Angling Improvement Fund is, what it funds and how to apply? Can you suggest ways to make it better?

To help improve the promotion and delivery of the AIF, the Angling Trust is inviting all angling club secretaries, club fundraisers and fishery managers to complete its online ‘AIF Fund Awareness and Satisfaction Survey’. We’d like your views on the Fund, whether you have made an application in the past or not. The survey, which will close on February 9th, is simple to complete and should take no more than 15 minutes of your time.

To take the survey, please visit