Latest Discover England Fund winners announced

VisitEngland has announced the latest bids to secure funding from the Discover England Fund.

The winning projects focus on boosting the North of England’s growing reputation as a first-class destination for cultural holidays; encouraging tourists to the Midlands to explore England’s waterways (pictured); and creating adrenaline inspired short-breaks in Sheffield.

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “The Discover England Fund is an ambitious programme to inject innovation into product development, and these projects showcase the imagination and use of technology at play in England’s tourism landscape.

Products with a twist

“They are creating world-class products with a twist, showcasing England’s known and unexpected tourism experiences, attracting more visitors and boosting growth from tourism across the country.”

The successful projects follow the 33 bids that have secured funding to date from the Discover England Fund.

In years two and three, the fund is supporting destination-led collaborative bids worth more than £1 million, and a series of pilots. It continues to fund existing year one projects that demonstrated early success.

Winning bids

The first of the years two and three £1 million large scale projects is The Waterways of England, led by the West Midlands Growth Company.

This project will target international visitors, inspiring them to explore the waterways of England and discover ‘England’s heartland’ – focusing on the areas in and around Birmingham and the wider Midlands.

A programme of product development and awareness-raising among the travel trade will be undertaken to incorporate more of the country’s waterways and the wider cultural offer into a portfolio of canal and river-centred holidays.

The second £1 million winner is the Urban Collective and Renaissance Collection: Cultural Collections in the Cities of Northern England, led by Marketing Liverpool.

This project will create new culturally-themed, bookable products across Newcastle, Hull, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool for audiences in near European markets – the Nordics, Germany and the Netherlands.

These former industrial cities are experiencing a regeneration-driven cultural renaissance and the new ‘Collections’ will package up transport, accommodation, art, music, literature, theatre, dance, architecture, festivals and events that showcase the artistry thriving in the northern cities of England.

Adrenaline-fuelled breaks

The winning bid for the pilot project worth £500,000 is Adrenaline Fuelled City Breaks, led by Marketing Sheffield.

Tapping into the emerging market for adrenaline breaks, this project uses the ease of access to Sheffield from Northern Europe to target young active explorers from Germany, the Netherlands, and the Nordics.

The project will allow visitors to book accommodation, food and drink options, night-life choices and adventure sports activities based on their personal preferences for breaks of up to three-nights.