Wednesday, 8 April, 2020
Emergency funding is available to support local tourism organisations in England that are struggling because of coronavirus.
Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston has announced a new emergency fund to support England's local tourism organisations throughout the coronavirus outbreak. Funding will provide immediate financial support to Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) that are at severe risk of closure due to the pandemic.
DMOs provide expert advice and guidance to local businesses and are a crucial part of developing and promoting English tourism. There are an estimated 150 in England, each running marketing campaigns, providing advice to local tourism businesses and conducting research on behalf of their members. Many also manage Central Government grant schemes like the Discover England Fund.
As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, a number of DMOs are currently facing cash flow issues and loss of commercial income. Eligible DMOs will now receive financial support through a new £1.3 million scheme launched by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The funding will ensure that DMOs can continue to provide critical business support and start to prepare for recovery.
Under the scheme, DMOs will be able to receive up to £2,500 per month for two members of non-furloughed staff who provide crucial business support services and up to £5,000 to cover operating costs.
The funding, which is available to any at-risk DMO in England which usually receives at least 50% of its income from commercial sources, will be used to cover operating costs and the cost of employees that cannot be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme because they provide crucial business support services.
Nigel Huddleston said:
'At the moment, it is of utmost importance that everyone plays their part and stays at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
'However, we also need to act now to help the tourism sector be as strong as possible when we get through this pandemic. Destination Management Organisations will play a vital role in this recovery and this fund will support their essential work.'
The funding will last until 30 June 2020 and is repurposed from the Discover England Fund.
More information about this funding opportunity and the application process is available on the GRANTfinder funding information platform. GRANTfinder provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on funding news. To find out more about how GRANTfinder can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.