Jan 4, 2018

SMILE Project Receives Funding

Solway Firth Partnership has been successful in their bid to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) through Marine Scotland to fund the Solway Marine Information Learning and Education (SMILE) Project.


The aim of the Solway Marine Information, Learning and Education (SMILE) Project is to update the 1996 ‘State of the Solway Review’, using innovative communication methods to gather pan-estuary information, learn from stakeholders and promote a better understanding of the Solway Firth ecosystem.   The update is required in the light of new demands made on the estuary’s resources and in the context of marine planning. The Review will provide some of the evidence by which a sustainable approach to planning and management may be achieved; thereby helping to deliver the ecosystem based marine planning frameworks developed for the Solway.


The SMILE Project offers a significant opportunity to develop the foundations for a cross-boundary ecosystem approach to support the future management of the Solway Firth through provision of high quality data and local information.  A SMILE Project Officer will be responsible for identifying gaps in existing data while gathering information and sharing knowledge through the development and production of the revised ‘State of the Solway’ review.  They will undertake wide-ranging sectoral and stakeholder engagement using innovative communication methods, working with and learning from the Severn Estuary’s similar cross border situation with England/Wales, so that the information and evidence gathered can subsequently be disseminated across the Solway Firth in support of other initiatives and projects.


Key Outputs

The key outputs of the project are:

 - Development and production of a ‘State of the Solway’ review from gathered information / knowledge in an electronic, updatable, interactive format. 

 - Development and use of novel methodology for engaging with the public / local communities / sectoral groups around the Solway to both raise awareness of marine planning and to gather local knowledge and information on sectors within the Solway; 

 - Running sectoral and public workshops, both virtually and physically to gather information / evidence relating to the Solway;

 - Establishment and maintenance of good working relationships with stakeholders around the Solway to aid information / evidence gathering; 

 - Engage with Fishers through the West Coast Regional Inshore Fisheries Group (WCRISG) Solway Subcommittee and contribute towards the WCRIFG Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) which contains specific objectives for the Solway; 

 - Management and development of engagement with the public through social media, PR and web-based communications including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog and Vlog; 

 - Engagement with the Marine Management Organisation’s Marine Planning Officer for the North West during the development of the Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans for this area, which has the Solway Firth as its northern border.

 - Development of working relationships with marine planning bodies in Scotland, England, the Isle of Man, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

 - Development and engagement with the Severn Estuary Partnership to share knowledge, best practice and working solutions to common cross-border issues;

 - Liaison with Local Coastal Partnerships, Scottish Coastal Forum and Regional Marine Planning Partnerships, as appropriate; 

 - Liaison with appropriate European and International organisations actively working in marine spatial planning to learn from examples of good practice 


If you are interested in applying for the SMILE Project Officer post click here for a Vacancy Pack and here for an application form.




Solway Firth Partnership