Coastal Communities Fund round 2 opens for business

The UK’s Coastal Communities Fund provided £225,000 for Berwickshire projects last year, now the 2013 round of funding is open for business.

The £4 million three year funding programme, from the Crown Estate’s marine income, is competitive and last year only 19 of the 290 projects that applied were successful. Three of them were from Berwickshire - Eyemouth Museum, Eyemouth Harbour Trust and Seton Care.

The first stage of applications have to be in by April 26, and those that are selected go forward to a full application process during the summer. A number of projects are in the process of being put together in Eyemouth and St Abbs and Scottish Borders Council’s fisheries fund facilitator, Hugh Williams, is co-ordinating the applications - some of them for the both the Coastal Communities Fund and the European Fisheries Fund.

Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for economic development, Councillor Stuart Bell, said: “The fund will support projects that contribute to economic development and an increase in employment opportunities. I would encourage businesses and community organisations that have development plans in the coastal area to get in touch with the council’s fisheries fund facilitator.”

Eyemouth Harbour Trust intends applying once again, and also has plans for a major application to European Fisheries Fund, which if successful will involve a two year scheme of works starting at the end of this year taking them through to December 2015.

MSP John Lamont said: “Communities in the Borders such as Eyemouth have suffered in recent years from the continued restraints being put on our fishing fleets. It is therefore important that we continue to invest in these communities to ensure that they remain some of the most beautiful destinations in the Borders.

“I know that this fund helped out a lot of communities last year, and I am confident that it will do so again in 2013/14. Despite only a few projects being chosen for funding out of hundreds of applications, we were lucky enough to be successful in gaining almost a quarter of a million pounds in funding.”

Support with the application process is available from Hugh Williams: hugh.williams@scotborders.gov.uk.