£40million boost for tourism projects in England

VisitEngland has announced a further nine successful applicants to secure year one funding from the £40million Discover England Fund. 

The nine winning bidders include projects to get international visitors exploring England’s waterways, initiatives that drive visitors across the North of England on sightseeing programmes and the development of transport links and user-friendly travel booking systems that make it easier to book travel across the country. 

This funding announcement follows the seven projects awarded funding in August. The successful applications focus on attracting visitors from established inbound visitor markets such as the United States, Germany, France and The Netherlands as well as growth markets including China and the Middle East.

"These exciting projects will help encourage even more visitors to experience the wonderful sights and scenery we have across the whole country,” says tourism minister Tracey Crouch.

"We are committed to strengthening tourism outside London and these innovative programmes will help build world-class attractions that will draw tourists and benefit local economies." 

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe adds: “The successful round-one bidders demonstrate the outstanding quality and innovation thriving across England’s tourism landscape. We received an exceptional number of high quality bids, far outweighing the allocated funding available for year one, and we are looking forward to working together with the successful applicants as we develop England’s competitive tourism offer.”

The successful bids announced to date are worth a combined £3 million and span the length and breadth of the country from Hull and Harwich in the east, to Bristol in the west, Manchester in the north and the Cotswolds further south. 

The three-year Discover England Fund aims to enhance England’s competitiveness in the global tourism industry, driving growth from international visitors across the regions and benefitting domestic visitors. 

In years two and three the fund will be calling for larger scale, destination-led collaborative bids worth more than £1 million. A smaller funding pot for new one-year projects and pilots, and continuation funding for existing round one projects that can demonstrate early learnings, will also be available.

The Discover England Fund is part of the UK Government’s Tourism Action Plan announced in August.

The nine successful projects are:

The Great West Way, VisitWiltshire

Growing Manchester as an International Gateway, Marketing Manchester

Town and Country, SuperBreak

Growing new audiences for England’s Heritage Product, heritagecities.com

Discovering the mighty rivers and majestic canals of England, Marketing Birmingham

Brit Xplorer, National Express UK Coach

BritRail England Pass M-Ticket, Rail Delivery Group

Britain Fix(-ed): STA Travel

London and Manchester: Gateways of England, Marketing Manchester and London & Partners.