Grant applications open for programme to boost international business events across UK

10 July 2018

Applications for grants are being called for VisitBritain’s programme to secure new international business events for the UK and to grow the value of existing events, boosting the economy.  

VisitBritain’s Business Events Growth Programme* provides support to the UK’s business events sector with two funding strands. The ‘Bid Enhancement and Support’ strand supports UK cities in their bids for international events. The ‘International Delegate Growth’ strand supports existing business events to boost their events international attendance and profile.

Organisations can apply to the Business Events Growth Programme for grant-funding of up to £20,000 under each strand. Funding is open for applications from Convention Bureaus (CVBs), Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) or venues and event organisers including universities and associations. 

Organisations can also apply on an ongoing basis for government advocacy to support bids for international events, or to grow the international profile of existing events, from letters of support from ministerial and senior UK Government officials to video messages.

Tourism Minister Michael Ellis said:

“We have an excellent track-record of hosting international business events and I am committed to helping the sector expand this important market.

"Tourism contributes billions of pounds to our economy every year. Bringing more international conferences and events to the UK will support further growth in towns and cities across the country."

VisitBritain/VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“VisitBritain is committed to growing the UK’s valuable business events sector and promoting its world-class destinations, venues and ease-of-access to boost inbound business events.

“Working with the industry we can secure more international conferences, meetings and business events, promoting the UK as the premier destination and driving the economic benefits of business events across the country.”

The programme, launched in 2016 as the Event Support Programme has to-date supported 28 events and bids across the UK from Aberdeen to Bristol, London to Belfast, Brighton to Glasgow with more than £500,000 awarded.

VisitBritain promotes business events worldwide, under the Events are GREAT brand, part of the UK Government’s GREAT Britain campaign. Events are GREAT drives awareness of Britain’s destinations and products, highlighting its history of research, innovation and high-quality infrastructure, positioning it as a leading destination for business events. 

For more information about the Business Events Growth Programme (including criteria and the application forms) please see:

*The Business Events Growth Programme was formerly known as the Event Support Programme.