Years two-three (round two)
Shaping your project – key components
These customer-centric projects need to be ambitious and multi-faceted (particularly if delivering over two years) – containing a number of key work streams and activities. It is important to consider the following components when shaping and designing your project:
Market Opportunity Guidance
We have been working with innovation specialists Mangrove Consulting to develop some guidance about identifying market opportunities for your product. This provides frameworks for identifying and sizing target audiences and considering the potential for different types of activity and product offering. It also includes some checklists of questions which should be helpful to you in thinking about how best to shape your project.
Download our Market Opportunity Guidance
The difference we want to make
You will be required to build in evaluation from the beginning of your project. In your application you should specify key success measures, outputs, outcomes and impacts – both quantitative and qualitative – showing how these are linked back to the activities you are proposing.
There will be a requirement to ‘go beyond the numbers’ and identify learning that can be shared for the benefit of the wider tourism industry and also to consider short and longer term impacts.
We have appointed a Discover England Fund evaluator to undertake the overarching evaluation of the funds core elements. They will also advise you on developing and shaping your evaluation proposals if you are successful.
Funding and eligibility
Discover England Fund grant awards are for revenue funding, although small amounts of capital investment will be considered (e.g. technology) and any requirements should be clearly identified in your application.
The following types of activities may be supported:
- Developing thematic and/or geographic clusters/groupings of bookable product e.g. heritage, gardens, culture
- Itinerary and experience development
- Content and collaterals in support of the above
- Product/market testing
- International promotion (e.g. consumer marketing campaigns, press trips, tactical marketing with partners and PR activity) in order to test outcomes
- Technology as appropriate to enable the above
- Other enabling activities such as welcome, training and business support
- Project delivery (including additional staff required to run the programme)
The following types of activities will not be supported:
- Core funding of partner organisations
- Business as usual costs
- Capital projects like the adaptation, building and construction of hotels, conference centres, visitor attractions and tourist information centres
Marketing and promotion
The Discover England Fund is focused on world-class product development to meet the needs of international consumers. Partnerships must start with this as their primary objective. However, we recognise that once developed, products must be taken to market and promoted to target customers at the right time and in the right ways. Up to 40% of your projects total budget can be used to market and promote internationally. It is envisaged that the majority of this expenditure will be in the final year of delivery and VisitBritain will play a core role in delivering this working with successful partnerships. This will deliver greater impact and economies of scale, will ensure alignment with VisitBritain’s international marketing strategy and make the most of the opportunity to connect with the Government’s GREAT Britain campaign and brand.
Headline proposals will need to be set out in your application and a detailed plan outlining activities and expenditure. These will be signed off by VisitEngland/VisitBritain. It is important to note that Discover England Fund partnerships and related activities will not receive additional marketing and promotional support over and above what is identified in these plans.
Match funding requirement
Match requirements differ for Option 1 (now open) and Option 2 which will open in early 2017. Further details are outlined below:
|Option 1: 2 year large-scale collaborative projects||Option 2: 1 year projects and pilots (new and continuation of Round 1)|
We would expect you to contribute at least 40% of the projects value as match funding. At least 20% of this must be private sector cash. Other types of match contribution could include EU funds, Lottery, other government funds (both capital and revenue) and in-kind contributions from the public and private sectors (e.g. marketing activities, staff time and resource).
Please note that match levels could be higher if you are working within one or more of the state aid exemptions to ensure your activities are compliant (please see page 5).
We expect you to contribute at least 20% of the project’s value and those which can contribute more will be regarded favourably.
Where beneficial, applicants may demonstrate how their Discover England Fund proposal aligns with other funding it may already have or be seeking. There are a number of opportunities available to applicants including Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations programme which has a specific strand for match with the Discover England Fund, the Coastal Communities Fund and the EU Growth programme investment in rural tourism targeted through Local Enterprise Partnerships. Please see the Q&A for the menu of opportunities.
Partners must also demonstrate they are bringing other assets and skills to delivery and their commitment to sustaining the activities and partnership beyond the life-span of their project.