Discover England Fund Years 2 and 3 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

Awarded projects

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

OxfordThe 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.

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 in 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.

The 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.


England'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. 

The 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.


Urban 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.