Plans have been drawn up to create a new National Angling Centre capable of bringing the World Championships back to home soil.
The scheme could finally end years of English embarrassment that has seen the world’s greatest angling nation unable to stage a premier event due to a lack of large, quality waters.
The news was part of an historic meeting which saw trade and media figures unite in formulating a vision for the sport’s future.
The ‘consortium’ also voted unanimously to press ahead with the National Angling School first revealed in AT last year.
Based at Cudmore Fisheries, Staffordshire, the school will be run by the successful Get Hooked on Fishing scheme and deliver tutoring in all aspects of angling, from specimen carp to match. The major UK fishing brands will fill a calendar year of events where existing anglers, or those wanting to try fishing for the first time, can enjoy coaching thanks to the efforts of the qualified Get Hooked tutors and star name consultants.
Cudmore boss Cyril Brewster, who chaired the meeting, was delighted that ‘stage one’ of the project was voted unanimously.
“Angling has to begin to inject new blood into the sport at the bottom rung of the ladder and a major project like this will make that happen,” he told AT.
“The big names in the sport are all behind it and we all share the same vision. With a will and a belief like that, there is no reason why this can’t be a success.”
The scheme is due to start this spring and manufacturers are already beginning to deliver tackle to the Staffordshire fishery ready for the launch.
Plans for ‘stage two’ and ‘three’ – a new outdoor show and the National Angling Centre located close to London or Birmingham – will be discussed in greater detail at the next ‘consortium’ meeting.
The entire project will sit under the umbrella of the sport’s governing body, the Angling Trust, and will strengthen the body’s standing among fishermen.
Key brands present at Cudmore included Maver, Preston Innovations, Korum, Shimano, Nash, Garbolino, Leeda, Wychwood, Pure Fishing and Fox.
Angling Times news editor Steve Phillips pledged the paper’s support for the plans: “Participation numbers are just beginning to waiver and this kind of vision is exactly what fishing requires. There is still a long way to go with some of the ideas such as bringing the World Champs home, but we’re up and running with stage one and the trade has total faith in the Get Hooked on Fishing team delivering a National School at Cudmore.”