DEF Awards Panel
Decisions on funding awards will be taken by the Discover England Fund Awards Panel, comprising of our senior management and external industry representatives and experts appropriate to the Fund’s objectives. This expertise includes inbound tour operators, government departments, business visits and events, airlines, technology and distribution. These decisions will be ratified by the British Tourist Authority Board before you are notified and receive your grant offer letter.
Will state aid be a consideration for projects applying to the Fund?
Applicants to the Discover England Fund need to ensure that their project complies with state aid rules. We appreciate that this can appear complicated but it can be worked through.
You will need to demonstrate clearly that receipt of grant funding for your activities is not state aid or that it is exempt, for example, under one or more of the relevant General Block Exemption Regulations. This will impact on the design and scope of your activities and will require careful consideration.
You are encouraged to take legal advice at the earliest stage. Please see the fuller guidance in the downloadable pdf.
Download: Discover England Fund state aid guidance (PDF, 393KB)
Please see A good introduction is the state aid: the basics guide.
For further detail refer to the BIS state aid manual which includes details of GBER and De Minimis Regulations.
Financial Due Diligence and Fraud Risk
All government grants will be subject to timely and proportionate financial due diligence and fraud risk assessment. As part of the application assessment, decision making and set-up process a set of checks will be undertaken that will provide assurance and identify the level of financial risk in respect of the grant recipient. Please note you may be asked to provide information such as financial accounts for the past two years and evidence you are established as a formal entity. Please see Government Guidelines on Due Diligence and Fraud for further information.
Package travel regulations
Will the EU package travel regulations impact on proposed projects?
This depends on what you intend to offer as part of your proposed project. If you put together and sell a product that includes a combination of at least two components, such as transport, accommodation, car hire, meals, attraction tickets etc. you should consider whether you will be creating and become the ‘organiser’ of a ‘package’ as defined by the Regulations. These have recently (1 July 2018) been extended to include dynamic packaging when a single company sells two or more elements and a new form of package called a Linked Travel Arrangement whereby a targeted offer is made to the consumer when they make a purchase. This means you will need to understand what legal liability you have for the quality of all those products and services you are offering, and may have to provide insurance or similar protection for money customers pay in advance.
Please see the Government’s guidance. Discover England Fund guidance is currently being updated to reflect the new regulations and will be published shortly.
Will projects be subject to any procurement procedures?
If you are a public body and you need to buy eligible project-related goods and/or services from a third party (in order to deliver elements of your programme) then you must comply with all current public procurement regulations and practices.