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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2006, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Fish courses saved by funds trawl
Fishermen and net
The college offers a range of courses to fishermen
A funding package has been secured for threatened courses at a college in the heart of Scotland's fishing industry.

Banff and Buchan College in Fraserburgh had announced the end of the training due to a lack of students and finance.

The college offers training for mates and skippers' certification and trainee fishermen.

Politicians highlighted the situation and there were calls for more funding. Now the Scottish Funding Council has reached an agreement with other bodies.

The original announcement in March was criticised by politicians as it would have forced the industry to go outside mainland Scotland for training.

The SFC has joined industry bodies and Aberdeenshire Council in a deal which allows the college to continue with the courses.

I am greatly encouraged by the rapid response of the SFC, the fishing industry and Aberdeenshire Council to the issue of funding
Ross Finnie
Fisheries minister

The college is set to receive a total of up to 141,000, with as much as 84,000 of this from the higher education body.

SFC chief executive Roger McClure said: "I am pleased to see that fisheries training is supported by so many parties and that we have been able to work in partnership to provide funding to enable the college to continue and develop."

Chairman of the college board George McRae, who is also secretary of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA), said: "Fisheries training is important to Scotland and we are delighted. It's an excellent result."

Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie said: "Given its significance as the only mainland provision of its type in the UK, I have been keeping a close watch on developments.

"I am greatly encouraged by the rapid response of the SFC, the fishing industry and Aberdeenshire Council to the issue of funding these strategically important courses."

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond, the MP for Banff and Buchan, said: "I am extremely pleased to hear that Banff and Buchan College has now been assured of the funding and I congratulate everybody involved."

The college said there had been low numbers of students for the fisheries-related courses since decommissioning six years ago, which saw many Scottish fishing boats scrapped.

This was further compounded by the high costs associated with replacing expensive radar and navigation simulation equipment.




SEE ALSO
Funding trawl for fishing courses
27 Mar 06 |  Scotland
College fishing courses scrapped
23 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Opinion divided over fish quotas
22 Dec 05 |  Scotland

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