VisitEngland unveils fresh Discover England grants

VisitEngland has today announced that £1 million from the Discover England Fund will help to develop a major new tourism route between London and Bristol.

The ‘Great West Way’ project, led by destination management organisation VisitWiltshire, aims to transform tourism along the 125-mile route.

The investment will develop a new route and link a package of tailored visitor experiences, including destinations, accommodation, attractions and transport options.

The ‘Great West Way’ will make it easier for overseas visitors to book trips that take in more of the region, boosting tourism along the way.

The project will receive £1 million over two years from the Discover England Fund, and is 40% match-funded by VisitWiltshire and partners.

Sally Balcombe, VisitEngland chief executive, said: “This commitment to fund the ‘Great West Way’ is the first of a number of major investments that will enhance England’s tourism offer. Together, the successful Discover England Fund projects will boost international and domestic visitor growth, creating a step-change in the industry and spreading the economic benefits of tourism across the country.”

  • Funding for three smaller, one-year projects, have also been announced today. They have been awarded up to £250,000, and are 20% match-funded. These are:

‘Royal Racecourses – The Sport of Kings’
Cheshire West and Chester Council are creating experience-led itineraries for visitors from China and the Middle East, incorporating world-famous racecourses (Ascot, Newmarket, York and Chester) with luxury accommodation offers, in heritage locations.

Contiki – ‘Limited Access’
Contiki is developing new packages for travellers aged 18 to 35, targeting visitors from Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and South Africa.

‘Creating English City Food Hubs’
Destination Bristol is trialling an urban ‘food and drink hub’ concept to promote the area’s growing reputation as a destination for produce. The template will be introduced to other urban areas.

The three-year £40 million Discover England Fund, which runs from 2016-19, aims to improve England’s tourism offer by building bookable tourism products and making it easier to explore the country.

Today’s successful bids follow 20 pilot projects that were announced in 2016, the first year of the Discover England Fund.