Latest winners announced for tourism product development fund

VisitEngland has today announced the latest bids to secure funding from the Discover England Fund.

The two large-scale projects, worth up to £1million, and one pilot, worth up to £500,000, will develop England’s competitive tourism offer.

The winning bids include a project to build on the North of England’s growing reputation as a first-class destination for cultural holidays, encourage tourists to the Midlands to explore England’s waterways and to create adrenaline inspired short-breaks in Sheffield.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“The Discover England Fund is an ambitious programme to inject innovation into product development, and these projects showcase the imagination and use of technology at play in England’s tourism landscape. They are creating world-class products with a twist, showcasing England’s known and unexpected tourism experiences, attracting more visitors and boosting growth from tourism across the country.”

The successful projects follow the 33 bids that have secured funding to date from the Discover England Fund.

The three-year £40 million Discover England Fund, which runs from 2016-19, improves England’s competitive tourism offer by building world-class, bookable tourism products and getting them to the right international customers at the right time, benefitting the domestic market and making it easier to explore the country.

In Years 2 and 3, the fund is supporting destination-led collaborative bids worth more than £1million, and a series of pilots. It continues to fund existing Year One projects that demonstrated early success. 

For more information about the Discover England Fund go to:

The three successful applicants announced today are listed below.


Large-scale Years Two and Three large scale projects worth £1 million:

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.


Pilot worth £500,000:

Adrenaline Fuelled City Breaks led by Marketing Sheffield

Tapping into the emerging market for adrenaline breaks, this project uses the ease of access to Sheffield from Northern Europe (by air, car, ferry or train) to target young active explorers from Germany, the Netherlands, and the Nordics.  ‘Adrenaline fuelled city breaks’ will allow visitors to book accommodation, food and drink options, night-life choices and adventure sports activities based on their personal preferences for breaks of up to three nights.