Fisheries Areas Network

FLAG Factsheet

North East Scotland FLAG --ARCHIVED as of 31 January 2020--

Official name: 
North East Scotland FLAG
Programming period: 


--ARCHIVED as of 31 January 2020--
North East Scotland FLAG (NESFLAG) covers the fisheries communities of the Banffshire, Aberdeenshire, Kincardineshire and Angus coastlines.  Within this area are two major fishing ports (Peterhead and Fraserburgh) and a number of smaller centers with a significant fishing industry, as well as several small villages with fishing heritage. 

The area accounts for over half of Scotland’s fishing catch, with reliance on white fish, pelagic and nephrops.  Fish processing is also an important element of the local economy. 

There are a great deal of social and economic challenges in the area.  Low income and relatively high unemployment are common in many of the main settlements.  Educational attainment is below average across much of the FLAG area, and there are pockets of areas with very poor health statistics.

Type of area:
Sea Basins:
Protected areas: 

18 protected areas:
SSSI Cullen to Stake Ness Coast, SSSI Whitehills to Melrose Coast, SSSI Gamrie and Pennan Coast, SSSI Rosehearty to Fraserburgh Coast, SSSI Cairnbulg to St Combs Coast, SSSI Bullers of Buchan Coast, SSSI Collieston to Whinnyfold Coast, SSSI Sands of Forvie and Ythan Estuary, SSSI Garron Point, SSSI Burn of Benholm, SSSI St Cyrus and Kinnaber Links, SSSI Rickle Craig – Scurdie Ness, SSSI Montrose Basin, SPA Troup, Pennan and Lion’s Heads, SPA Buchan Ness to Collieston Coast, SPA Ythan Estuary, Sands of Forvie and Meikle Loch, SPA Montrose Basin, SAC Buchan Ness to Collieston, SAC Sands of Forvie, Ramsar Montrose Basin

102 911
Surface area (km²)
7 250
Population density
Total employment in fisheries
7 700
1 200
6 500

FLAG strategy

The FLAG strategy delivers the fisheries elements of three separate multi-fund local development strategies (LDS):  North Aberdeenshire, South Aberdeenshire and Angus. 

Each LDS has variations in its priorities and focus, but common themes among them include improving connections and sense of place, developing the economy, and co-operation (both inter-territorial and trans-national). 

Specific priorities for fishing areas include:

  • Facilitating diversifications within and outside of the fisheries sector
  • Supporting lifelong learning and job creation in fisheries areas
  • Adding value, creating jobs and promoting innovation at all stages of the fisheries seafood supply chain.

Being part of broader local development strategies allows the FLAG to focus on economic aspects, the other priorities being dealt with through other parts of the broader multi fund strategies. 

Adding value, creating jobs, and promoting innovation along the fisheries chain
% of the budget allocated: 
Supporting diversification


Total public budget allocated to the FLAG for 2014-2020: 
1 846 140
  • EMFF: 
    1 384 610
  • MS co-financing: 
    461 535
  • Sources of co-funding: 

    Scottish Government (National)

  • Multi-funding: 

    The FLAG strategy delivers the fisheries elements of three separate multi-fund local development strategies:  North Aberdeenshire, South Aberdeenshire and Angus. 

    All animation and administration costs are covered by the ‘lead fund’ EAFRD.

  • Funds: 

Project examples

  • Traditional boat building workshop;
  • New leisure marina;
  • Wi-fi provision for harbour;
  • Harbour restaurant;
  • Maritime heritage trail.

Calls for proposals

Application deadlines are called for three times per year. 

2016 deadlines are April, July and October. 

2017 dates are still to be confirmed but likely to be every 4 months (e.g. January, May, September). 

Applications are screened at FLAG meetings around 8 weeks after the deadline.

Expertise & cooperation

NESFLAG members offer significant experience of the fishing industry and represent a broad cross section of the major fishing area of the UK.  The FLAG is interested in all areas of co-operation, both inter-territorial and transnational.  Potential areas of interest could be (but not limited to) new products, industry innovation, leisure/tourism or traditional skills.    

In addition, the MA has identified a central budget for cooperation projects in Scotland in their OP.  At this time no decisions have been made on how this element of the Programme will progress although it expected to be available for both inter-territorial and transnational cooperation.

Type of cooperation projects foreseen:

  • Inter-territorial (within the country)
  • Transnational
  • Sea basin
Budget envisaged for cooperation: 


Accountable body: 
Aberdeenshire Council
Members of the partnership: 

Community Sector:

  • Banffshire Partnership
  • Buchan Development Partnership
  • Fraserburgh Development Trust
  • Kincardineshire Development Partnership

Private Sector:

  • Aberdeen Fish Producers Organisation Ltd
  • Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce
  • Banffshire Coast Tourism Partnership
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • MacKay Boat Builders
  • Moray Firth Inshore Fisheries Group
  • North East Scotland Fishermen’s Organisation
  • Peter & J Johnstone
  • Peterhead & Fraserburgh Fish Producers Association
  • Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishing
  • Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation
  • Seafood Scotland
  • Scottish Seafood Association
  • Scottish White Fish Producers Association Ltd

Public Sector:

  • Aberdeenshire Council
  • Angus Council
  • Montrose Port Authority
  • Scottish Enterprise
  • Scottish Maritime Academy
  • Visit Scotland
Number of individuals/organisations in partnership/general assembly: 
% of fisheries actors: 
% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors: 
% of environmental actors: 
Number of individuals on main decision-making body/board: 
% of public actors: 
Number of contracted staff in FLAG: 



FLAG Contacts

Aberdeenshire Council
Gordon House
AB51 3WA Inverurie
United Kingdom
FLAG Manager:
Mr. Jamie Wilkinson
+44 1467 628383
  • English (Mother tongue)
Publication date: 
PDF Version