HL Deb 26 June 2000 vol 614 cc53-4WA
Lord Mason of Barnsley

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have had discussions with the Environment Agency and the Sports Council with a view to obtaining finance for the promotion of angling, and especially the promotion of the sport in the education and training of young people. [HL2903]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

The Government are in regular contact with the Environment Agency and Sport England to discuss a range of issues. My honourable friend the Minister for Sport met representatives of all the angling governing bodies on 13 January this year at which funding to promote angling was discussed. A representative from Sport England was also present at the meeting. My honourable friend has given her support to a number of angling initiatives for young people and will be opening the European Championship.

Sport England has made a substantial contribution to the promotion of angling through both the Sports Lottery Fund and grants to the governing bodies of the sport. For the year 1999–2000, grant-in-aid of £27,500 was awarded to the National Federation of Anglers, £29,000 to the National Federation of Sea Anglers, and £27,000 to the Salmon and Trout Association. Thirty-one angling projects have received Lottery funding totalling over £1.5 million.

The Environment Agency is committed to developing and promoting sport and recreation, and the promotion of access for everyone, particularly beside, to and on, water. The agency has put in place several measures to promote angling as a sport and educational tool for young people. These include offering a 50 per cent concession on rod licence duties for anglers aged 12–16 inclusive, no licence being required for those under 12 years of age. The agency is also part-sponsor the National Federation of Anglers' Roadshow this summer, at which 5,000–6,000 mainly young anglers will take part. This year they have also introduced the Beginner's Licence, costing £1 per day, in conjunction with coaching schemes. In the last three years, the agency has been targeting fisheries improvement projects in urban areas, the key reason being to improve fishing opportunities for many young anglers who have limited opportunities to travel. The agency has recently published Reel Life magazine, which is sent to 1 million licence holders, including junior anglers, which promoted coaching schemes run by the National Federation of Anglers, the Professional Anglers Association, and the Salmon and Trout Association; angling and conservation guidance; and specific pages dedicated to young anglers, designed to educate and promote good angling practice.