Archive for the ‘Flag 2’ Category

Sustainable Development of ‘The Boathouse’ at Kilkeel Harbour

Posted on: September 21st, 2021 by Margaret

SEA FLAG are delighted to assist Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers Organisation (ANIFPO) in the revitalisation of an existing, historic building located at Kilkeel Harbour, known locally as ‘the boathouse’.

Under Union Priority 4 of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Fisheries Local Action Group approved funding to carryout renovations to the boathouse to provide a multi-use facility for the use of ANIFPO/Sea Source, Kilkeel Harbour Works, fisheries businesses and the local community.

New Business for Kilkeel

Posted on: September 21st, 2021 by Margaret

New business, Quay Dog will develop natural fish-based dried dog food which involves using raw by-products, in particular, fish skins, sourced locally in Kilkeel.

The project involves the processing of low valued fish produce into a higher value product, providing additional income and economic growth within the fishing industry and locality.

Environmental Improvement Scheme Paves the Way at Portavogie Promenade

Posted on: September 3rd, 2021 by Margaret

SEA FLAG welcomes a boost which will promote the rich maritime history of Portavogie and  improve the overall aesthetics of the promenade and help towards improving health and tourism in the area.

Under Union Priority 4 of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Fisheries Local Action Group approved funding to enable environmental improvements at Portavogie promenade. This project will reenergise the local promenade, improving the connection between current fishing provision and the heritage of fishing within the local community and surrounding area of Portavogie.


Carlingford Lough Ferry Sets Sail

Posted on: August 20th, 2021 by Margaret

Carlingford Lough Ferry have been successfully awarded funding under Union Priority 4, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to develop and fit out an onboard passenger cruise experience.

The introduction of 2 new cruises, Maritime Tour cruises and Seafood Showcase cruises are a welcomed development in the area. The project aims to develop the area of maritime tourism by running these cruises as an annual schedule of summer events on Carlingford Lough in addition to the car ferry service. The large deck area on the car ferry offers a platform for outdoor social gatherings and to showcase the heritage and natural beauty of the local area.

The first of the two new cruises is a maritime tour of the Lough with an onboard audio tour guide who would talk about the maritime history, heritage, wildlife and sea life, in addition to the heritage of the fishing communities that have developed in the local area.

The second would be a ‘seafood showcase’ through a series of ‘Meet the Maker’ cruises. These cruises would be a collaboration with local seafood providers to showcase the diverse range of offerings the Lough and coastal region has to offer.

This project would promote social inclusion within the fishing community of Kilkeel and surrounding areas. Through the promotion of maritime cruises and shared culture and heritage of fisheries areas, this project could also indirectly support the fisheries sector economic growth and tourism products of the areas.


‘From Sea to Service’

Posted on: August 20th, 2021 by Margaret

Under Union Priority 4, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, funding was awarded to Down Business Centre enabling them to initiate a ‘From Sea to Service’ project.

The ‘Sea to Service’ delivery programme is a series of training workshops to be undertaken in the hospitality sector, with both Front and Back of House staff. These groups will comprise of management, servers, etc. The participating businesses will be made up of restaurants, cafes, pubs and takeaways, within the areas of Ardglass, Kilkeel and Portavogie. The purpose of these workshops is to instil a passion surrounding local seafood and fish produce, as well as allowing participating businesses to ‘upsell’ these dishes more effectively.

The project contributes to the Seaflag Objectives, with the project contributing to 3 out of the 5 stated targets;

  • Adding Value, through the potential creation of jobs and the promotion of innovation across all supply chain activities;
  • Diversification, through the linkages between the commercial fishing and the local hospitality sector promoting the maritime economy; and
  • Social and Cultural, through promoting the cultural heritage of fishing industry through the story of local seafood.

Marine Litter Initiative

Posted on: July 20th, 2021 by Margaret

Under Union Priority 4 of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Fisheries Local Action Group approved funding to NIFHA.

The two-year project will involve a variety of elements aimed to improve waste management in the three fishing harbours, Ardglass, Portavogie and Kilkeel, through the development and implementation of an action plan focused on marine litter to include re-purposing and recycling of end-of-life fishing gear and how the fishery harbours control and recycle waste.

There will also be a focus on clean-up efforts to include co-ordinating local beach cleans, linking in with existing schemes and organisations. The project also involves promoting and monitoring the Fishing for Litter scheme and creating simple messaging to help those using the harbours to understand best practice in waste management through the development of a local code of practice, reflecting key elements from the Responsible Fishing Ports for small ports scheme and blue flag marinas scheme.


Renovation Project Goes Ahead in Portavogie

Posted on: March 26th, 2021 by Margaret

SEA FLAG is delighted to announce confirmation of funding awarded under Union Priority 4, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund,  to demolish a decaying boat shed and rebuild three industrial/commercial properties which would be available for rent in Portavogie Harbour.

The proprietors aim to promote economic growth, social inclusion and job creation within Portavogie and the fishing industry. The business would address the identified shortage of new business premises and premises to host fishing support services for the Portavogie Fleet.

With the aim to diversify the business to include leasing of harbour workspace units in the Portavogie area, this renovation would enhance the area to provide accommodate a number of ventures thus strengthening the future sustainability of the harbour.

The project aims to develop attractive, purpose-built units that would appeal to fishing support businesses and Small Micro Enterprises.

Follow SEA FLAG’s website and facebook pages to see how this development is transformed later this year.

Kilkeel Boat Company Raises to new Heights

Posted on: June 30th, 2020 by Margaret

Funding was awarded to Ian Newell Boat Building and Repair Ltd enabling them to diversify and invest in new equipment . Due to an increase in demand for their engineering services, the new equipment will allow the company to perform safer and ease the handling of materials, to and from their profile machine.

Wellbeing Clinic to be Launched in Ardglass

Posted on: June 23rd, 2020 by Margaret

Ardglass will soon reap the benefits of a new Health and Wellbeing Clinic

Ardglass woman, Nuala Wills aims to open a new business in her home village in the near future. The new wellbeing clinic aims to provide a range of professional treatments to improve the wellbeing and quality of life for the people of Ardglass and surrounding areas.

The Ardglass Wellbeing Clinic has received grant funding approval from the South East Area Fisheries Local Action Group (SEA FLAG), who administers funding from the European Union and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) through Union Priority 4 of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Ms Wills having worked in the health and wellbeing service industry around the world for numerous years, and seeing the benefits this brings to clients, is eager to provide this service to the people in her local fishing community of Ardglass. The Ardglass Wellbeing Clinic will offer a variety of treatments, to include injury treatment, acupuncture, taping, clinical massage, sports massage, women’s health and fertility support treatments to name but a few. One of the main aims is to help fishermen and their families. Ms Wills commented the following:

‘Firstly, I would like to thank SEA FLAG and DAERA for this fantastic initiative and the team for their support throughout the application process. I would also like to encourage others within the fishing communities to take this opportunity and contact SEA FLAG regarding their potential projects.’

Ms Wills continued;

‘I am delighted to be able to provide health and wellbeing services in Ardglass. My aim is to support the fishermen and their families and boost the community wellbeing of Ardglass and surrounding areas. Coming from a fishing family and community, I know only too well that fishermen’s health and that of their family, can suffer through their unpredictable and antisocial hours, mental and physical stress, as well as work-related injuries. I will be providing Acupuncture, Injury Treatment, Women’s Health Treatments and Massage, offering flexible and convenient appointments to fit around the working hours of our unique hard-working fishing community. I want to help not just active fishermen but the whole fishing community, to improve their overall health and wellbeing. I am confident this new offering will have a positive impact on the community as a whole.’

SEA FLAG Chair, Alderman Carson commented:

‘I am pleased that SEA FLAG has approved grant assistance for the creation of a new business in one of our fishing dependent communities. I believe it is important to use different approaches to engage with each community as one size does not fit all. I am therefore delighted that through this project the local fishermen will benefit from having access to these health and wellbeing services at a time and location that accommodates their work pattern. Fishing is a physically demanding job, where you can be exposed to particularly challenging working conditions and the provision of a local, convenient wellbeing clinic service in Ardglass will be a great benefit to the community. I look forward to seeing this project move forward in the future and develop a strong client base.’

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said:

‘It is fantastic to see the benefits SEA FLAG is bringing to the fishing dependent communities, particularly providing much-needed financial support during these difficult unprecedent times. It is important that we continue to reinvigorate our communities and the local economy. I believe this facility will be a great asset to the village and surrounding areas, and I have no doubt that the community will benefit from this new local service.’

SEA FLAG is continuing to provide financial support to the fishing communities of Ardglass, Kilkeel and Portavogie and surrounding areas. The £2m funded programme is aimed at supporting projects which focus on the promotion of economic growth; business and job creation, and social inclusion; social wellbeing and cultural heritage in fisheries, aquaculture and maritime areas.

SEA FLAG is taking bookings for one-to-one virtual information sessions to provide information and guidance on the programme. For further information please contact a member of the SEA FLAG team on 0330 137 4051, or visit the website at

Nautical Themed Eco-Garden Sails Ahead in Ardglass

Posted on: May 4th, 2020 by Margaret

During the current coronavirus pandemic, South East Area Fisheries Local Action Group (SEA FLAG) is delighted to announce that a nautical themed eco-garden, community and educational area has been approved for grant assistance from the European Union and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs through Union Priority 4 of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

The nautical themed eco-garden will be developed at St Nicholas’ Primary School, Ardglass. Ardglass village is one of the main fishing ports in Northern Ireland. For generations the local fishing industry has had a symbolic relationship with the families and school in Ardglass. St Nicholas’ Primary School is situated in the heart of the village and is seen as a hub for the families and wider community.

The project involves carrying out groundworks, and installing two towers, a frame with a reinforced cargo net, steps, a slide, a rope bridge and the bow of a ship. The frame will replicate a fishing boat, including netting filled with artificial fish, local to the Ardglass port, with sea life creatures fixed around the boat with buoys. There will also be an eco-garden area with plant and vegetable planters, bugs life trio, heavy duty picnic tables and an open playhouse. The project also involves inviting guest speakers from the environmental, fisheries, aquaculture and maritime sectors to deliver talks and activities to the community.

Theresa Taggart, St. Nicholas’ Primary School Parents’ Group Treasurer said, “The nautical themed eco-garden will complement the school’s curriculum of outdoor play and embrace their natural environment, local habitats and enhance awareness of the local fishing industry in the village of Ardglass and surrounding areas. The garden will educate children and families on how to care for their environment, which will be supported by the creation of allotments that families can take care of and work together to maintain”.

Theresa added, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank SEA FLAG and Northern Ireland Fish Producers’ Organisation for their financial support which will make this project possible.”

SEA FLAG Chair, Alderman Carson, commented, “This project will have a positive impact on the development and well-being of the children and young people of Ardglass and surrounding areas. This nautical themed eco-garden will enhance children’s learning through play, focusing on their cultural and marine heritage which will help promote the fishing industry and encourage young people to consider a career in the local fishing sectors.”

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said, ‘‘I am pleased to see that SEA FLAG is continuing to provide funding to the fishing dependent communities during these difficult times. I believe this project will be a great opportunity for grandparents, parents and the wider community of Ardglass to come together to share their knowledge of the fishing industry to the younger generation’’.

SEA FLAG is very keen to see this unutilised grassed area will be transformed now that the project has set sail to proceed.

SEA FLAG is continuing to provide financial support to the fishing communities of Ardglass, Kilkeel and Portavogie and would encourage businesses within the fishing, aquaculture and marine industries, community and voluntary sector to contact the SEA FLAG team on 0330 137 4051 or to discuss any potential projects.


Project update: check out the final product here: Nautical Themed Eco-Garden

Expansion of Marine Fabrication in Kilkeel

Posted on: February 12th, 2020 by Margaret

G. Smyth Boats Ltd currently operates from Kilkeel harbour, carrying out moulding hulls, fitouts/repairs of boats and complete builds.

Under Union Priority 4 of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Fisheries Local Action Group approved funding to enable the company to diversify into the moulding of a 10m – 12m mould catamaran. This in turn will allow an increase in production and efficiencies.

The quality of life in the fishing dependent community of Kilkeel will be improved by creating new jobs and safeguarding the existing full time jobs. The new equipment will ensure the company has the capabilities to meet customer demands and enable them to enter new markets.


Pictured from Left to Right: Andrew Rooney, FLAG representative; Lisa McBride, FLAG Board member; Gerald Smyth, G Smyth Boats Ltd; Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, Chairperson of  Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; Alderman Angus Carson SEA FLAG Chair; and Patrick Higgins, FLAG representative.

Ardglass and Portavogie Chill Out

Posted on: February 11th, 2020 by Margaret

Northern Ireland Fisheries Harbour Authority (NIFHA) has recently installed two refrigerated bait stores, one at Ardglass Harbour and the other at Portavogie Harbour, funded through Union Priority 4 of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

The new chilled storage facilities are welcomed by the local creel fishermen in the local fishing communities. With the benefit of the refrigerated storage, this will protect and preserve the quality of their bait, assisting to maximise the lifespan of the resource and maximise efficiencies. The central chill stores will enable the fishermen to increase the length of time bait is viable, increase the security and protection of the bait and will also reduce its potential for contamination.

The facilities will have a positive impact on the local creel fishermen of Ardglass and Portavogie.

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Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
European Structural and Investment Funds
Ards and North Down Borough Council
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council