North Thames FLAG



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 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, universities and more.

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 key priority areas by reading our Local Development Strategy

Please see our newsletters here:  

Summer 2017


View our application pack for North Thames FLAG funding 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

NTFLAG Business Case Template (projects over £25000)

Fishermen wanting to access core EMFF funding can find out more here: Eligible Items for Fisheries


If you have a project idea for the North Thames FLAG that meets with one of the 5 priorities or are having trouble filling out,

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: | Phone: 07710 642127     

For other queries please contact:


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 Centre, Room 6 :


1st December 1-3pm, 12-1 old Leigh Mapping exercise

26th January 1-4pm, to include strategy review 

23rd March 2-4pm

18th May 2-4pm


Copies of the board meeting minutes are available here:

NTFLAG Board Meeting minutes 10.04.17  

NTFLAG Board Meeting minutes 02.06.17 

NTFLAG Board Meeting minutes 21.07.17

NTFLAG Board Meeting minutes 29.09.17


NTFLAG is suspending the Environmental Monitoring, Marketing and Training Working Groups. Please feel free to discuss any project ideas with NTFLAG staff.

Environmental Monitoring Working Group: 

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

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

Culture and Heritage Working Group

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

Our next culture and heritage working group meeting at Leigh Community Centre is on:

11th January 2017 2-4 pm


Fish/Shellfish Combined Marketing Working Group


 Fish/Shellfish Combined Marketing Minutes (30/05/17) 

Training/Marine Academy Working Group


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

Infrastructure Working Group: Meeting Pending.


There are 6 FLAGs across England, you can view websites for the other 5 FLAGs here:

Dorset and East Devon FLAG

Cornwall FLAG

Holderness FLAG

Hastings FLAG 

North of Tyne FLAG


FLAGs are an EU funded initiative, FARNET brings together the FLAG network and showcases example projects.