£350,000 funding available for D2N2 area tourism businesses

October 12, 2015 12:11 pm

D2N2 logo

Tourism or visitor economy businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire – or those wishing to become part of helping the sector grow – can now bid for a slice of £350,000 in funding, through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

D2N2 – a private sector-led partnership promoting economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – has tourism and the visitor economy as one of the eight key economic sectors for its area.

Businesses and organisations interested in growing the sector can apply for funding help to create a marketing plan for their idea, from £350,000 allocated to D2N2 through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) Growth Programme.

More than a third of the D2N2 area’s 880,000-plus jobs are in rural local authority areas but DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has identified issues to be tackled; including reduced farming income, lower than average wages and difficulty finding business investment.

Plans which might be funded through EAFRD, depending on their strength, could include those helping rural areas:

  • invest in developing and marketing a new large scale tourism activity, to attract visitors;
  • provide a service which enables businesses across the D2N2 catchment to target new markets;
  • facilitate activities which encourage visitors to increase the length of time they stay in the D2N2 area (according to 2014 figures, an average day visitor to the D2N2 area spent £30, whereas an overnight visitor spent closer to £200).

D2N2 wants to see better links and connectivity between different destinations and attractions, to encourage visitors to extend the length of visits and increase visitor spend.

The EAFRD funding panel is keen to hear how applicants would co-operate with each other in marketing tourism in the rural D2N2 area, and how this would create more jobs and safeguard existing ones.

D2N2 is also keen to increase the business activity of certain types of rural economic activity – including local markets, pubs and micro-breweries – as part of the area’s distinctive visitor ‘offer’.

D2N2 works closely with tourism organisations Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, and Experience Nottinghamshire, in driving forward growth for the visitor economy sector in its area. Businesses and organisations with ideas on how to improve the tourism offering of any rural area in Nottinghamshire and/or Derbyshire may wish to contact either of these, to find out if there is an opportunity to collaborate with other organisations on a plan.

Up to ten projects in the D2N2 area will be funded from its £350,000. Individual grants will range from £35,000 to £140,000 and can cover up to half a project’s total costs, meaning a project must have a minimum total value of at least £70,000 to be eligible for funding through the EAFRD money.

Businesses must be registered with Government agency the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) before they can apply for the EAFRD funding. To register online for RPA go to website www.gov.uk/government/organisations/rural-payments-agency . If a business is already registered with the RPA, they will not need to register again.

Once registered with the RPA a business can make an outline application for EAFRD funding online. More information about the Growth Programme can be found at the following website www.gov.uk/government/collections/growth-programme-grants-for-the-rural-economy

Applications to the D2N2 EAFRD fund – which must be submitted by 5pm on Friday, January 8 (2016) – will be assessed by the Government and the D2N2 LEP. Those with the strongest business case will then be asked to make a further, full application for project funding.

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said:  “Both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire already receive tens of thousands of visitors each year, bringing millions of pounds into their local economy. There is capacity there for further growth, through the development of quality tourism attractions or interesting areas.

“This EAFRD funding is an excellent opportunity for tourism businesses, or those wishing to set one up, to get the help needed to create a detailed business and marketing plan for their ideas.”

For more information on how the D2N2 LEP is using European funding to boost the economy and jobs numbers in its areas see the web link HERE.

If you are a business located in Ashfield or Mansfield, please check the Invest Ashfield & Mansfield dedicated grants information page for potentially suitable funding available to you.

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