Angling has the potential to bring considerable economic benefits to Northern Ireland, provided it is presented and marketed correctly. Currently it is one of the least marketed products within Northern Ireland yet offers considerable social and economic opportunities to rural areas.
To support the development of the angling product it is essential to have baseline data and an assessment of the current and potential value to the economy. There has never been a complete evaluation of angling in Northern Ireland.
The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) in partnership with the Loughs Agency and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board commissioned Consultants to deliver a Report on 'the Social and Economic Impact to NI and the Loughs Agency area of Recreational Fisheries, Angling and Angling Resources'. The Report evaluates the current and potential value of angling to the Northern Ireland economy.
Since 1995 approximately £9 million of Peace funds have been allocated to improve angling and to encourage angling tourists to visit Northern Ireland. In 2003/04 the Department spent £0.5 million to upgrade the Public Angling Estate and has developed its own website to promote the Estate to encourage both local and tourist anglers to utilise the facilities.
In order to assess the value of these investments, which should start to produce results over the next few years, it is essential to establish baseline data and an assessment of the current and potential value of angling if the product is promoted and marketed properly. The Report will also support future funding bids and help inform future policy.
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