Bidding open for £40m Discover England fund

VisitEngland is now accepting bids for its multi-million pound fund to drive tourism growth across England.

The three-year £40 million Discover England fund was announced by the government last year as part of the annual spending review.

It was set up to help create a “world-class” tourism offer in England, and to boost inbound and domestic spend across the country.

VisitEngland today published the criteria for the fund’s first year, which is calling on applications for projects up to £250,000, which can be completed by March 31, 2017. Destinations and businesses of all sizes are urged to submit bids.

The fund will also be used to “tackle head-on” some of the challenges facing English tourism, and support inbound tourism, described as one of England’s most “successful export industries”.

VisitEngland/VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “While London continues to have global appeal, with more than half of international visitor spend in London, there is a wealth of attractions for visitors to enjoy beyond the capital.

“Our transport connections don’t always make this exploration easy, and customers now expect to book online, use distributors and comparison websites, and see availability at short notice, so we need to be tech and digitally savvy as an industry to keep ahead.”

Tourism Minister David Evennett said: “The Discover England Fund will help develop exciting new experiences and trips for tourists to enjoy across the regions and make sure the whole country can share the economic benefits from our booming tourism industry.”