How to apply

Applications for the Option two of the Discover England Fund are now open. Find out how to apply below.

Option one: large-scale collaborative two-year projects

Please note that applications for Option one – large-scale collaborative 2-year projects and the information in this section applies to this strand of grant opportunities - are now closed. The Discover England Fund Awards Panel will be making decisions on project funding by end of April 2017.

Applications for Option two - small-scale pilot projects and a continuation of Year one projects - are now open. 

Projects that take a collaborative and joined-up approach to product development are welcomed. This could be a partnership approach in a particular destination or across destinations – or a project from a single organisation where it can clearly demonstrate broader impact and benefits.

The lead partner will be the accountable body for the project and will act as the single point of contact. They will co-ordinate and monitor delivery and report progress to VisitEngland on a quarterly basis as agreed when the project is confirmed and a grant offer letter is issued. This will be subject to evidence of state aid compliance.

Please note that if you have applied to a previous funding round and your project was declined you should carefully consider the feedback you received and whether this has been adequately addressed before you log your interest in this round.

See when to apply for option two

Who can apply for years two-three

All round two projects and associated product development must be customer-focused and therefore bids must be formulated with this in mind.

Option one projects will need to drive large-scale collaboration over their two-year life span and beyond. Partnerships must therefore fall into one of the following two categories:

  • Geographic partnerships that involve multiple Destination Organisations of varying shapes and sizes and that cross multiple LEP boundaries. These would be led by a larger Destination Organisation who would work inclusively with other partners through a partnership board and have the support of all relevant LEPs;
  • Thematic partnerships that follow the same criteria as geographic above but are national in scale.

Partnerships should also involve other delivery partners from across the public and private sector as appropriate. This list is not exhaustive or prescriptive – it will depend on what the partnership is trying to achieve and what product(s) and activities it is aiming to develop:

  • Local Enterprise Partnerships – if not a formal partner then support must be evidenced
  • Local authorities
  • Tourism businesses
  • Transport operators e.g. rail companies, airlines, coach and bus companies
  • Technology companies
  • Tourism umbrella organisations

New one-year projects and pilots under option two will be smaller in scale and could be led by a public or private sector organisation involving wider partners as appropriate. Please note that further details on how to apply for option two will be available in early 2017. 

In all cases the successful delivery of these innovative projects will rely on a strong set of committed partners with the skills and ability to drive forward Discover England Fund outcomes and impacts. This must be clearly evidenced and demonstrated in your application.

The lead partner will be the accountable body for the project and will act as the single point of contact. They will co-ordinate and monitor delivery and report progress to VisitEngland on a quarterly basis as agreed and once an award is confirmed.

See the application timetable for when to apply.

Next step: Read the guidance and criteria for applicants.