Portavogie residents are being invited to give their views on how European funding to help fishing communities to diversify should be spent.
The village is among just three to be consulted and at the meeting this Friday, September 14, the discussion will centre on how local people, together with the public and private sector, can work in partnership to design and implement strategies which will address the decline in traditional fishing activities and support diversification, in areas from tourism to food.
The evening has been organised by the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), made up of the three councils of Ards, Down and Newry and Mourne, as well as representatives of the fishing, tourism, education, environmental and voluntary sectors, and which is responsible for delivering the new 'Priority Axis 4' of the European Fisheries Fund.
Councillor Angus Carson who represents Ards Borough Council on the Local Action Group, is encouraging local people, whether from the fishing, business or community sectors, to attend the meeting: "This European funding has been earmarked specifically to provide support for the sustainable development of fisheries areas.
"Portavogie, along with its neighbours in Ardglass and Kilkeel, are traditionally the three villages which have relied upon fishing as their key economic drivers. In times of change, we need to work together and use the funding available to create other economic opportunities which will contribute to a broader economic development and prosperity," said Councillor Carson.
"This is our opportunity to influence the content and direction of the new strategy and so, the development of the village."
The public consultation event for Portavogie takes place in the village's community centre on Friday September 14, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend. Light refreshments with be provided at 5.15pm in advance of the meeting.
To confirm your attendance or for further information contact Mrs Fiona Rooney, call 028 4461 0800, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.