European Fisheries Fund (EFF)

European Fisheries Fund

The Sustainable Development Of Fisheries Areas


The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) for 2007 – 2013 was launched to provide financial support for the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, replacing Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).

Axis 4 is intended for the sustainable development of fisheries areas with an emphasis on tackling socio-economic problems and maintaining economic prosperity and jobs in fisheries areas where there is low population density, fishing is in decline or there are small fisheries communities.

In response to an invite from the Scottish Government, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar formed a Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) made up of representatives from the main fishing community, other community representatives in the area together with representatives from the main public sector bodies. The FLAG will consider applications and decide how the funding will be allocated.  By allocating funding at a local level, communities will be empowered to support projects that improve quality of life and deliver genuine benefits for the local community.

The FLAG has developed a local fisheries development strategy which highlights the entire scope of what the FLAG proposes for our area.  The aim of Axis 4 is to increase the capacity of local fishing communities and business networks to build knowledge and skills, innovate and co-operate in order to tackle local fisheries development objectives.

Specific Measures Eligible For Funding

Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund provides support for the sustainable development of fisheries areas. Funding is available for eligible projects within the local fisheries area which meet the Axis 4 criteria and also support the Local Fisheries Development area. For the Outer Hebrides FLAG this means we encourage applications for projects eligible under the following measures:

  • strengthening the competitiveness of fisheries areas;
  • adding value to fisheries products;
  • supporting small fisheries and tourism-related infrastructure and services for the benefit of small fisheries communities;
  • promoting inter-regional and trans-national co-operation among groups in fisheries areas, mainly through networking and disseminating best practice


The Outer Hebrides has initially been allocated £233k for EFF Axis 4. To access these funds other public bodies are required to provide additional funding of £77k on a 25%/75% basis. This gives a total EFF Axis 4 budget of £310k. For any project applicants will be required to secure additional funds, including their own contribution, depending on the level of assistance agreed by the FLAG. Funding must be committed by December 2013 and projects completed and final claims made by December 2015.

Eligible Applicants

Micro, small and medium sized enterprises, community groups, third sector organisations, public sector organisations.


The Fisheries Local Action Group will be operational to accept Axis 4 Expressions of Interest and project applications in Spring 2012.

In the first instance applicants should submit an Expression of Interest for their project which will be assessed by the FLAG. If eligible and demonstrates suitable scope for the sustainable development of fisheries areas applicants will be invited to submit a full project application. This will be assessed by the FLAG and a decision on any support for the project made.

Prospective projects must cover one or more of the following themes:

Revitalising communities - Encouraging inward investment and new business creation, assistance for the redevelopment of harbours to diversify and increase the economic potential, providing community facilities that are accessible to all.

Coastal community capacity – Axis 4 support for skills development, training for work initiatives, capacity building projects, community engagement themes, national and transnational co-operation between FLAGs.

New markets and products - Strengthen the linkages and understanding between businesses which produce and supply regionally distinctive products.  Examples would include assisting the establishment of new businesses and markets which process or add value to the local landings of fish and of service businesses supporting the area. Also, projects developing sectors with growth potential in particular coastal areas would be eligible. 

Progressive coastal economy - Restructuring the activities of the fisheries area through diversification or promotion of other activities e.g. supporting small fisheries and tourism related infrastructure. Increasing awareness of diversification opportunities amongst fishermen, assistance to local collective groups to promote development of tourism and recreational use of harbours, establishment of localised business advisory services.

Application Assessment Criteria
Project applications will be assessed on fit with local fisheries development strategy, fit with eligible measures, geographic coverage, eligible activity, project timescales, confirmed costs, eligible costs, value for money and equal opportunities

Rates Of Grant Assistance
For all projects grant assistance is dependent on the main project beneficiary. Higher rates of assistance are available where the beneficiary is community rather than private individual/business orientated. The FLAG will assess each project on its merits with any grant assistance limited to aid intensity guidelines. Applicants are expected to make a contribution to the project.

Outer Hebrides Fisheries Local Action Group - EFF AXIS 4 Grant Awards

Reference Applicant Project Project Cost EFF Axis 4 Grant Award Date of Award
EFF Axis 4/OH/001 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Miavaig pontoon extension £122,903 £37,428 25/02/2013
EFF Axis 4/OH/002 Vatersay Community Association Slip and access road reinstatement £143,397 £50,000 26/02/2013
EFF Axis 4/OH/003 Stornoway Port Authority Pontoon enabling works £180,000 £50,000 25/03/2013
EFF Axis 4/OH/004 Angus Campbell Sport fishing pilot study £42,485 £15,664 18/07/2013
EFF Axis 4/OH/005 Angus Campbell Deep sea fishing research study £17,100 £9,825 27/06/2014
EFF Axis 4/OH/006 Stornoway Port Authority Ice plant £351,500 £60,000 27/06/2014
EFF Axis 4/OH/007 Traigh Mhor Oysters Oyster workboat £70,000 £16,954 27/06/2014



For further information or to express an interest in the scheme please contact:

Pete Middleton
Economic Development
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Sandwick Road

Tel: 01851 822693



Related Links

Marine Scotland Inshore Fisheries And Coastal Communities (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

Coastal Communities Fund (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

European Fisheries Areas Network (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)