Government funding to kickstart UK tourism

On this wet and windy weekend, it probably isn’t the start to the July summer season that people expected or hoped for, though things look set to improve next week.

Communities that depend on tourism will receive a major boost from a new £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP  announced yesterday. Funding will be allocated to each Local Growth Hubs based on how much of their employment base is linked to tourism and hospitality businesses. This means that coastal and rural areas – with a bigger proportion of their economy focused on tourism, hospitality and allied sectors, will get a larger share of the funds. We await more meat on the bones.

Their press info says:

Speaking at the Local Government Association’s annual conference, Minister Clarke confirmed the new funding will be distributed to communities immediately to kick start tourism in time for the summer as part of the government’s drive to boost the recovery of the economy.

This is the latest package of support for economic recovery following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the “New Deal” earlier this week, which will bring forward £5 billion of capital investment projects, supporting jobs and economic recovery.

The £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package, will give small businesses in tourist destinations grants of up to £5,000 to help them adapt their businesses following the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses can use the funding to pay for specialist professional advice such as human resources, legal or financial expertise, to adopt new technology and online systems or to purchase new equipment. 100% of the money will come from government with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially.

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP said:

When the Prime Minister announced the New Deal, he made it clear that the government is determined to change the country for the better, uniting and  levelling up our regions.

Kick-starting domestic tourism will be key to our economic recovery and that is why I am delighted to announce £10 million in new funding for small businesses in tourist destinations, bringing jobs, investment, and financial support to the communities who need it the most.

Many areas across the country have experienced a significant fall in tourist and visitor numbers in recent months. The initiative will help ensure that tourist hot-spots are firmly open for business this summer.

In his speech at the Local Government Association conference, the minister also paid tribute to local leaders and frontline workers for their “tireless efforts” in responding to and tackling coronavirus. He also confirmed the government would publish its devolution white paper this autumn.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

Our tourism sector is hugely important – creating jobs, supporting businesses and driving local economies in villages, towns and cities across the country. It is vital that we help the sector bounce back and give it the platform to recover when it reopens from tomorrow.

This fund will help many small businesses in tourism destinations and with the infrastructure investment brought forward will provide a further boost for jobs and growth.

Minister Clarke has also confirmed that over £50 million ERDF funding for shovel-ready infrastructure projects will now be accelerated and distributed later in the summer and autumn. The funding is for projects already in development which will boost local economies and visitor numbers, create jobs and promote investment.

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