Supporting the Fishing Industry and the Port in Leigh-on-Sea and the North Thames





The North Thames Fisheries Local Action Group (NTFLAG) is a three year program funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) between 2017 and 2020.

The FLAG is being managed by Thames Estuary Partnership working with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and many local and national partners including The Cultural Engine, local fishermen and cocklers, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Leigh Port Partnership, Leigh Town Council, Port of London Authority and universities.

The NTFLAG area stretches between Thurrock and Shoeburyness, with a focus on Leigh-on-Sea where the fishing port is located. Leigh-on-Sea has been a fishing port for over 1,000 years, and it is now the last of its kind on the North Thames.

The NTFLAG initiative goal is to create a sustainable fishing and cockling industry, and active port, in and around Leigh-on-Sea for many years to come. The port is a defining feature of the area, supporting tourism and the local economy. However, its future cannot be taken for granted and to ensure the future sustainability of the active fishing port the NTFLAG has outlined five key priorities.


The Five Priorities that the NTFLAG will address:
  • Leigh Quay Infrastructure: Undertaking work to look at how best to stop Leigh Creek and other important approach channels to the port from silting up, ensuring access for vessels continues whilst using sustainable approaches to achieve this. Also looking at improving facilities on the quays such as space and access.
  • Environmental Monitoring of the Estuary: Independent research into how the environment of the Thames Estuary is changing, and how this may be affecting fish stocks.
  • Promotion and Marketing: Working with the industry to better promote the local catch, including possible Protected Geographic Identity for the Leigh cockles and increasing opportunities for production and sale.
  • New Training and Education: Courses developing skills in fishing and wider maritime industries, also to support a ‘classroom on the coast’ and citizen science.
  • Culture & Heritage: Projects celebrating the history and heritage of the fishing industry in Leigh-on-Sea and the North Thames area, making sure it remains an important part of the local culture and identity.


You can find out more about the project and the priority areas by reading our Local Development Strategy, available here: NTFLAG LDS  

View our application pack documents here:

1. Part 1 – Expression of Interest

2. Part 2 – What you will need for the E-system (brief)

3. Part 2 – Applicant guidance (detail)

4. North Thames FLAG Project Criteria – Scoring

5. NTFLAG Business Case Template

Fishermen wanting to access core EMFF funding can see what this covers here: Eligable Items for Fisheries



If you have a project idea for the North Thames FLAG that meets with one of the 5 priorities,

please contact Fisheries Animator, Anna Patel who will explain how to register your interest and more about the application process or contact to make an appeal against a project rejection.

Email: anna@culturalengine.org.uk | Phone: 07710 642127     

For other queries please contact: ntflag@thamesestuarypartnership.org


As community-led local development all FLAGs have a board, to help steer the direction of the FLAG, approval and question projects and decide where the FLAG funding is spent. View our FLAG board members here.

Our next board meetings at Leigh Community Center are on :

July 21st 12-2pm (PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE)

Sept 8th 1-3pm | Oct 20th 1-3pm | Dec 1st 1-3pm


Copies of the board meeting minutes are available here:

NTFLAG Board minutes 10.04.17  

NTFLAG Board minutes 02.06.17 


We also have working groups for each priority area, meeting minutes are available below.


Environmental working group: 

Environmental Working Group Meeting Minutes (16/05/2017)

Environmental Working Group Meeting Minutes (04/07/2017)


Next Environmental Working Group Meetings will be held at 26 Bedford Way, UCL:


Tuesday 29th August 2017 | 2pm – 4pm | Room: BW LG15  


Culture and Heritage Working Group: Culture Heritage Working Group Meeting Minutes (16/06/17)

Next Culture and Heritage Working Group Meetings will be held in Leigh Community Center:


Thursday 10th August 2017 | 11am – 1pm | Room 6 


Thursday 28th September 2017 | 2pm – 4pm | Room 8


Tuesday 14th November 2017 | 2pm – 4pm | Room 8


Thursday 11th January 2018 | 2pm – 4pm | Room 3



Fish/Shellfish Combined Marketing Working Group: FishShellfish Combined Marketing Minutes (30/05/17)

Next Fish/Shellfish Combined Marketing Working Group Meetings will be held in Leigh Community Center:


Tuesday 18th July 2017 | 3.15pm – 5pm | Room 3


Wednesday 6th September 2017 | 3.15pm – 5pm | Room 3


Monday 30th October 2017 | 3.15pm – 5pm | Room 8


Training/Marine Academy Working Group: Training Marine Academy Working Group Meeting Minutes (22/05/2017)


Tuesday 18th July 2017 | 1pm – 2.45pm | Room 3


Wednesday 6th September 2017 | 1pm – 2.45pm | Room 3


Monday 30th October 2017 | 1pm – 2.45pm | Room 8


Monday 22nd January 2018 | 1pm – 3pm | Room 3


Infrastructure Working Group: Meeting Pending.


There are 6 FLAG projects across England, you can view their websites here:

Dorset and East Devon FLAG

Cornwall FLAG

Holderness FLAG

Hastings FLAG 

North of Tyne FLAG


There are FLAG projects across the EU, FARNET brings together the FLAG network and showcases example projects.