The Environment Agency and Angling Trust have today (1st December 2020) announced a new £100k ‘Get Fishing Fund’ to encourage more people to give fishing a go for the first time, or get back into angling after a break from the sport.
Funded from rod licence sales, grants of up to £500 to benefit small-scale projects and up to £5,000 for larger projects will be available. The funding will help the delivery of future angling participation events, including any additional equipment needed to ensure fisheries are following Covid-19 safety guidelines, PPE and signage. It can also cover the costs of fishing equipment, terminal tackle and bait, as well as event resources including promotional material, gazebos and basic storage facilities.
The easing of lockdown restrictions in May 2020 led to a huge increase in popularity for angling as people sought the wellbeing benefits the sport can offer. The new buzz around fishing looks set to continue, with latest rod licence sales currently showing more than 900,000 people have bought or renewed their fishing licence since April this year, with 100,000 new anglers taking up the sport. This additional income has allowed the Environment Agency to offer increased investment to support projects that will run safe angling participation events throughout 2021.
Graeme Storey, Fisheries Manager for the Environment Agency, said:
The Get Fishing Fund will support organisations to put on a range of fishing activities to encourage new anglers through the 2021 season. We are always looking for ways to support our angling community and the Environment Agency has invested £1.5M of the additional income from this year’s licence sales back into projects that improve fisheries.
The increased interest in fishing over the summer proves that people are not only rediscovering angling but more people are trying angling for the first time. We want to see this continue and hope that these new projects will encourage more people to give fishing a go.
Clive Copeland, Head of Participation at the Angling Trust added:
We work with a great network of coaches, clubs and fisheries across the country which this fund will help but this also a fantastic opportunity for new partners to get involved in angling participation too.
We’ve worked with the Environment Agency to make this a short, easy process and we’ve got friendly staff with lots of experience ready to help anyone who needs it.
The Get Fishing Fund is available to angling clubs, coaches and fisheries but also to non-angling organisations such as schools, local authorities or charities based in England.