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An independent strategic coastal partnership

Dorset & East Devon FLAG

About the FLAG

FLAGs are an initiative of the Marine Management Organisation and part of the European Maritime Fisheries Fund.  The Dorset & East Devon FLAG launched in March 2017 and was awarded £800,000 to deliver community-led Local Development in the area’s fisheries, aquaculture and seafood sectors between Swanage and Beer. With the DCF team as lead, a local development strategy has been developed by working with key stakeholders – their key priorities include:

  • encourage and enable effective collaborative working across and within sectors
  • strengthen the aquaculture sector in Dorset
  • improve infrastructure and equipment to enable safe, sustainable working ports and harbours
  • enable innovation to increase the value of catch and products
  • support the industry by enabling diversification, up-skilling and training, and increase the knowledge and understanding of the sector to attract a younger workforce

Dorset and East Devon FLAG Community-led Local Development Strategy

Applicants can apply to the fund for fishery related projects, initiatives and infrastructure that encourage economic growth and job creation within the fisheries and related sectors while meeting the FLAGs key priorities.

Key information to consider before applying

The application consists of two stages and the FLAG staff are on hand to help you at any point during the application process and there is help on how to apply The maximum project total that can be considered for FLAG funding is £100,000. However, if your total project cost is over £100,000 the main European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is still a funding option that you can consider and FLAG staff will still help you develop your idea but will direct your application to the main EMFF core fund held by the MMO.

  • The FLAG staff are here to help you through the application process
  • The FLAG can only fund projects that have not started yet. If work has already begun on any element of the project, then you will not be eligible for funding.
  • Projects must align with the FLAG key priorities and the beneficiaries and outputs of your project must be primarily within the FLAG area from Swanage through to Beer.
  • Projects which have a total cost of £25,000 or more will have to submit a business case with their second stage application. The FLAG has a template for a business case and can help applicants with this.
  • The FLAG fund is a match funding programme and typically funds 50-80% of total project costs depending on the type of project and the applicant. FLAG staff can advise on the funding rates.
  • Flag funding is given on a reimbursement basis and approved funding will be reimbursed upon evidence of project spend. However you can claim throughout projects, stage by stage, if you need to.
  • Projects are assessed by the FLAG board which is made up of local stakeholders from the local fisheries industry, local authorities and other related organizations. We do keep applications as anonymous as possible throughout the application process. Projects will only be made public if they are approved for funding.

How to apply

The first stage is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Please fill out the EOI form and submit this to the FLAG either via email or post it to us using the contact details below. Fill in as much information as possible on the form as it is helpful to be as detailed as possible at this stage so that we can accurately assess your project idea. However, if you do not have all the information at this time do not be put off entering an EOI as the FLAG staff can help you collate the information required. The FLAG staff will check eligibility and, if eligible, an anonymous summary of the EOI form will be forwarded to the FLAG board for initial comments, suggestions or improvements.


FLAG EOI Guidance

MMO Guidance on serious infringements and fraud

The second stage is an online application. After the FLAG board have given feedback on the EOI, you will be invited to make a full application via the online EMFF FLAG system. The FLAG staff will advise you on how to do this. Once you have completed the online application, the project will be appraised based on predefined criteria and the FLAG board will review the full application with the appraisal score. You can view the appraisal documents below to help you consider the criteria when applying. If approved for funding the project will then be sent to the MMO for final approval as the contract for funding will be between the MMO and the applicant.

FLAG Project Appraisal Form

FLAG Project Appraisal Form Guidance

If your proposed project has a total value of £25,000 or more then, amongst the other documentation at full application stage, you will also need to submit a business case. NB this is the total project value not the value of the FLAG funding you are requesting. For example, if your project has a total cost of £24,999.99 and you are requesting £10,000 FLAG funding you will not need to submit a business case. However, if your project value is £31,000 and you are requesting £10,000 FLAG funding you will need to submit a business case along with your application. The FLAG staff are able to support you filling out this document.

EMFF FLAG Business Case Template

 EMFF FLAG Aquaculture Example Business Case Template

EMFF FLAG Harbour Improvements Example Business Case Template

Application support

During any of these processes, the FLAG staff are more than happy to help with filling out forms, developing projects and answering any questions you may have.

Dorset & East Devon FLAG
Dorset Coast Forum
County Hall


Martin Sutcliffe
Dorset and East Devon Fisheries Local Action Group Animateur 

01305 224766



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