Still time to jump in but deadline for Foyle grants closes next week

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The Loughs Agency’s Sustainable Development Fund Programme closes for applications on at 4pm on February 29, so there’s still time to apply.

The Agency is encouraging applications to the small grants programme from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors for financial assistance to support angling development, conservation and protection of fisheries and marine tourism in the Foyle and Carlingford catchments.

Key themes for the programme include: river access measures; marine access measures; accommodation improvements that will benefit marine tourism/angling; new or improved marine/angling experiences; training and skills development; festival and events; innovative enhancement / restoration to improve fish stocks; and events linked to the Foyle Maritime Festival with a marine or angling theme.

The programme has provided financial support to a range of projects and events in the past such as the Foyle Sailability ‘Regatta on the Foyle’ in which attracted 60 disabled citizens and their families to participate in a range of sailing activities.

Foyle Sailability is an exciting initiative that helps people with disabilities get involved in water-based sports, especially sailing.

Foyle Sailability is a partnership between Foyle Disability Resource Centre, Foyle Port, Loughs Agency, Derry City Council, local sailing clubs and other North West based disability groups.

The fund also supported Foyle Paddlers Canoe Club to deliver the ‘Paddling is fun’ summer programme on Lough Foyle which introduced members of the public to kayaking.

Courtney Greene from the Club said: “The funding has made a huge difference to our organisation.

“It has allowed us not only to purchase new kayaks but to develop our skills allowing members to train new club members”.

And in Donegal, the programme supported Celebrate Water’s ‘Marine Mega Fauna’ event on cetacean training from land and how to gather data for watch monitoring scheme.

The project has hosted whale, dolphin and shark watching events from Greencastle and Inishowen Head over recent years.

Celebrate Water is a voluntary, community initiative with an emphasis on raising awareness of environmental issues that effect us all.

All of Celebrate Water’s events are free and family friendly and the team encourages all ages to participate in a hands-on, creative way and to enjoy the exciting activities.

Application forms and guidance information are available online at http://www.loughs-agency.org/about-us/grants/ or can be obtained by post by contacting the Loughs Agency on Tel: +44 (0) 28 7134 2100. The closing date for applications is Monday, February 29, 2016 at 4pm.

The Loughs Agency, established after the 1998 Belfast Agreement, aims to provide sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits through the effective conservation, management and development of the fisheries and marine resources of the Foyle and Carlingford Areas.