Two more bids secure funding from Discover England Fund

Two tourism projects which encourage overseas visitors to explore England and discover food and drink attractions have won funding from the £40 million Discover England Fund.

Worth up to £1 million each, the projects will target visitors from China, France, Germany, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), India and the Netherlands.

Sally Balcombe, VisitEngland chief executive, said: “Innovative projects such as these, with twin-centre holidays and off-the-beaten track food and garden trails, showcase aspects of England in exciting new ways, getting visitors exploring more of the country.”

The successful projects follow the 36 bids that have already secured funding from the Discover England Fund.

The successful applicants are Experience England, led by London & Partners with Marketing Manchester and the West Midlands Growth Company; and the Gourmet Trails of England, led by Go To Places.

Experience England offers itineraries spanning cities and countryside, enabling visitors to “discover real icons of England and the real English way of life”.

It aims to remove barriers to multi-destination travel and will include open jaw-ticketing and baggage transfer.

The Gourmet Trails of England offers accommodation, courses, winery and brewery tours and visits to English gardens for tourists from Germany and the Netherlands.

Building on a pilot project funded by the Discover England Fund, the scheme will encourage visitors to discover rural England through heritage and country gardens that showcase locally-grown produce.

Locations and organisations currently involved in the project include Kent, Hertfordshire, Essex, Cheshire and The Peak District and Derbyshire. The project will also be supported by leading tourism and travel partners including Eurotunnel, P&O Ferries, The Camping and Caravanning Club and Southeastern.

Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive of Go To Places, said: “Our pilot project in Year One gave us some invaluable learnings and showed the strong interest our target markets have in accessing high quality, authentic food, drink and garden experiences in the UK.

“We are excited to be creating a brand new bookable tourism product for these markets, and to further showcase the unique rural experiences that England’s countryside can offer.”

The three-year £40 million Discover England Fund, which runs from 2016-19, aims to build world-class, bookable tourism products for international customers.

Pictured: Copper Rivet Distillery, Kent.

Pictured on home page: Penshurst Place by Darryl Curcher.