Discover England Fund Years 2 to 4 Large-Scale Projects

Two-year large-scale collaborative projects is now closed for applications.

This grant stream in Years 2 and 3 (2017-19) of the Discover England Fund aims to develop world-class bookable English tourism products, targeted at the right customers, at the right time and through the right channels.

Partners were invited to come together to apply to develop innovative and exciting projects to achieve the following:

  • Develop world-class English tourism products that respond to international customer demand and have the ability to be bookable and distributed through new and existing channels
  • Join-up the product offering across large geographies or nationwide through a thematic approach for the benefit of the customer
  • Drive a collaborative and partnership approach to delivery across Destination Organisations and LEP boundaries for the longer term

In Year 4 (2019/20): £5.45 million - an extended period was granted for delivery of the large scale projects to ensure delivery and/or amplification to September 2019

Awarded projects

The following projects have been awarded funding for Year 2 and 3:

People walking down a street under a bridge in OxfordEngland Originals (formerly The Collection), led by England’s Historic Cities 

Building on a project which gained Discover England funding in year one, The Collection tells the stories of 15 of England’s premiere Historic Cities and for the first time presents them as one product for US visitors.  The bid focuses on people and events and uses augmented reality to bring the cities and their stories to life, inspiring younger visitors to explore regional England. A set of itineraries will link the cities by rail so that visitors can plan a multi-destination visit and a hub will suggest places to eat, trips, tours and in-destination travel options.

A landscape view of fields in the Peak DistrictMake Great Memories in England’s National Parks, led by Peak District National Park Authority

This two-year collaboration of the National Parks in England will create a joined up, branded collection of experiences. It will also provide business support and a trade marketing strategy to create bookable tourism product across the English National Parks. Initially, the project will work with the travel trade to target the Australian and German markets.


Couple sat at a table outside a cafe in ManchesterGrowing Manchester as an International Gateway to the North, led by Marketing Manchester

This project will increase the volume of visitors coming through Manchester Airport by creating itineraries that showcase the city, and excursions that open up the North of England. Working with destinations, travel trade and the tourism industry and targeting the US market, Marketing Manchester will lead a partnership to maximise the potential of the North of England as an international destination and gateway to the North.


Couple walking in field with castle in distanceDiscover England’s Great Walking Trails, led by Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire 

Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire will promote the great walking trails of England to visitors from Germany, the Netherlands, France and the US. Three to 14 night itineraries, will be designed to promote walking holidays in England combining stunning scenery offered by seven of our National walking trails with the warm hospitality offered by English pubs and accommodation providers. These rural and coastal itineraries will either be booked in their entirety or amended to suit individual needs.

Yellow flowers with a row of old, sand brick houses in the backgroundThe Great West Way

The ‘Great West Way’ project, led by destination management organisation VisitWiltshire, is set to transform tourism along a 125-mile route between London and Bristol. The major investment will develop a new touring 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 international visitors to book personalised trips that take in more of the region, boosting tourism along the way.  

The ‘Great West Way’ project will receive £1 million over two years from the Discover England Fund (and is 40% match-funded by VisitWiltshire and partners). This follows a successful small-scale pilot funded by Year 1 funding.

A sandy beach with the sea on the horizonEngland's Coast

Led by the National Coastal Tourism Academy, the 'England's Coast' project will promote the coastline using interactive video technology which allows holidaymakers to create their own coastal itineraries. ‘England’s Coast’ will target German, Dutch and French visitors coming to Britain, and enable them to build personalised itineraries along the North East, South, South West and East coast. It will inspire visitors with a selection of each region's finest coastal locations and activities, allowing them to see destinations and retailers along each route, while also booking accommodation, activities and attractions.  

The project will receive £1 million from Year 2 of the Discover England Fund (40% match-funded by the NCTA and partners). This follows on from a successful pilot, the "Coastal Pass", which received funding from Year 1. 

People sail down a canal under a bridgeThe Waterways of England led by the West Midlands Growth Company

Following a successful Year One pilot, 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. The project will undertake a programme of product development and awareness-raising among the travel trade to incorporate more of the country's waterways and the wider cultural offer into a portfolio of canal and river-centred holidays.


4 men in black, smart trousers and waistcoats walk out of a bar, The CavernUrban Collective and Renaissance Collection: Cultural Collections in the Cities of Northern England led by Marketing Liverpool

This project will create 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.

A young Arab family looking at Lion King leafletExperience England, led by London & Partners in partnership with Marketing Manchester and the West Midlands Growth Company

This project will create and promote a new England tourism experience, making it easier for first-time visitors from China, India and the GCC to visit London and discover other parts of England as part of the same holiday. Experience England offers a variety of iconic, immersive itineraries spanning cities and countryside and enabling visitors to discover real icons of England and the real English way of life. The project will remove barriers to multi-destination travel and will include open jaw-ticketing, travel between destinations and seamless baggage transfer. Visitors will depart from a different English city to the one they entered ensuring minimal travel and maximum holiday time.

Black grapes in a gardenThe Gourmet Garden Trails of England, led by Go To Places

Go To Places will take visitors from Germany and The Netherlands on a sensory journey as they explore new tourist trails through England’s gardens and gourmet sites. Building on a successful Discover England Funded year one pilot, the project will package beautiful accommodation, artisanal food and drink locations, courses, winery and brewery tours and English garden attractions, and allow visitors to explore locally-grown produce and new rural experiences in England’s countryside.


Angel of the North statue with 3 people in the distance recreating its poseEast of England Touring Route, led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative 

This bid will target the German market and create a 300-mile touring route that spans the length of Eastern England from London to Northumberland. Packaging up well-known destinations with those that are off-the beaten track the project will develop itineraries that include attractions, accommodation options, places to eat and activities to provide a rich cultural and quintessentially English experience.



Men cycling in rural YorkshireCycle England, led by Welcome to Yorkshire 

Cycle England will develop cycling tourism breaks aimed at the Dutch and German markets. Led by Welcome to Yorkshire, the initiative will bring together bookable, end-to-end cycling holiday experiences across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and will target visiting cyclists of all levels.