Parliamentary Spokesman for Angling, Martin Salter MP has today written to Sport England Chief Executive Roger Draper pressing for a review of a funding decision that still sees Angling receiving less than sports like Lacrosse and Baseball.

The funding is being increased by £ 50,000 a year over the next four years, from £ 135,000 to £ 185,000, making a total package of £ 740,000. This is less than half the £ 2.4m that was applied for in the Whole Sport Plan for Angling by the Joint Angling Governing Bodies.

Martin Salter said:

“There is no doubt that £ 740,000 is a lot of money and considerably more than angling was getting five years ago but it is still pretty small beer compared to what is being handed out to other sports with less participants and less international success. I just hope that with improved arrangements in place for the governance of angling we can become even more professional in our approach to funding and gain the confidence of bodies like Sport England. In the meantime I have asked Roger Draper to look again at this decision and to advise me how angling can qualify to be considered a ‘priority sport’ which is where the big money goes.”

Martin Salter’s letter to Roger Draper

4th February 2005

Dear Roger

Re – Sport England Four Year Funding Settlement

I am writing to complain at the poor settlement received by angling in the recent funding announcement when compared to other sports. I recognise that Sport England’s annual funding for angling has risen from £ 133,000 in 2003 to £ 135,000 in 2004 and now £ 185,000 for 2005 and the next 4 years. However, this is on par with minority sports like mountaineering and water-skiing and considerably less than lacrosse and baseball.

I trust you are aware that in coarse angling alone the England teams have been World Champions no less than 15 times and that English anglers have won more than 50 individual gold medals between them. There have also been considerable English successes in competitive fly-fishing and sea angling. Although comparisons are not always appropriate I feel that I should point out that the modest involvement in angling by Sport England has helped produce a far greater proportion of medals and international success than the £ 2.6m per medal that was achieved in the 2004 Olympic Games by British teams.

I know there have been some issues around the governance of angling but hopefully these have been addressed with the recent creation of the Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT) which now brings together all the fishery and angling interests in England and Wales.

The Joint Angling Governing Bodies who submitted the Whole Sport Plan for Angling (2005-09) were particularly disappointed with the funding announcement as they felt that their plan fully addressed the criteria laid down by Sport England and included a target of an extra 200,000 anglers over the next 4 years – an increase of 5%.

You will be aware that with nearly 4 million anglers in Britain we are the largest participatory sport in the country and can make a major contribution to diverting young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour. I must ask you to consider reviewing the funding allocation in the light of the above points and I would be grateful for an explanation as to how the National Investment Panel arrived at its recommendations. I would also appreciate your guidance as to how angling can make the jump from being a ‘development sport’ to a ‘priority sport!’

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Martin Salter MP
Parliamentary Spokesman for Angling and Shooting

cc – Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP – Minister for Sport and Tourism
Angling Governing Bodies