Marketing Lancashire secures £250K Discover England Fund project

2 July 2018

VisitEngland has today announced the latest successful applicants to receive funding from the three year £40 million Discover England Fund for tourism product development.

The 11 successful bids receive funding of up to £250,000 in the third year of the Fund.

From promoting food, music and heritage to literature, horse-racing and the coast, the projects showcase destinations and experiences across the country to overseas markets, driving inbound tourism and boosting the domestic market.

The projects announced today target international visitors from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC), the Nordics, Spain, Portugal, the US and Ireland. They will drive tourists to destinations across the North West and North East of England including Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Cheshire, Lancashire and Newcastle, as well as to Birmingham, Bristol, Hampshire, the Cotswolds and Shropshire.

Tourism Minister Michael Ellis said:

“The Discover England Fund helps to promote our brilliant tourist destinations to visitors all over the world. This round of funding will showcase the North West and North East of England, including its beautiful scenery, historic places and dynamic cultural scene. It will also expand tourist products in the Midlands, South and South West so that communities across the country can share the benefits of our booming tourism industry.”

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“The Discover England Fund continues to bring imaginative projects to life increasing the choice of tourism products available to international visitors, and in markets that research shows they will appeal.

“From cultural experiences that allow visitors to acquire new skills to products that get people exploring our UNESCO World Heritage sites, and projects that help groups get acquainted with regional England, activity delivered through the Fund is driving tourism growth throughout the country.”

The bids announced today include six new and five amplification projects that build on year one and two ‘test and learn’ pilots.

Together these bids bring the number to receive funding-to-date through the Discover England Fund to 43.

New projects:

Discover more than just a holiday, led by Marketing Lancashire

This project targets 18-34 year old visitors from the Nordic region with culturally distinct experiences, inspiring them to explore the North West of England whilst acquiring new skills, discovering new tastes or undertaking self-improvement activities.

Commenting on the project Rachel McQueen, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said

“We’re delighted to have secured this quarter of a million pound Discover England Fund project for the North West. We have so many culturally distinct experiences that often surprise visitors once they’re here, and this award will provide just the boost we need to make inroads into a new and exciting market. We have good connections with the Nordic countries thanks to regular flights into Manchester International Airport, as well as good connectivity across the region via rail and road networks. We believe targeting this market will enable us to open up new, lasting partnerships that could benefit the region for years to come.  The Nordic market is growing and their spend is high, as is a general interest in experiential holidays, authentic experiences and opportunities to travel and learn. We now have a wonderful opportunity to work with our destination partners and tourism businesses across the North West, to generate new products and visitor itineraries that will welcome more visitors from Norway, Sweden and Denmark and encourage them to discover more than just a holiday.”

The Northern World Heritage Collection, led by Cumbria Tourism

Targeting the US and Irish markets this project will tell the story of England’s culture and heritage through our Northern UNESCO World Heritage sites, launching bookable products to the travel trade for both the group and fully independent traveller (FIT) markets.

Buzzing for the weekend, led by Warrington Council

‘Buzzing for the Weekend’ focuses on 18-25 year olds from Spain and Portugal.  This project will get tourists flying into Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport and exploring the Liverpool City Region as well as Cheshire and Lancashire with fun, short-break packages revolving around dance, exploration, food and drink.

Manchester Musical Gateway, led by Marketing Manchester

This project will evaluate the appeal of Greater Manchester as a music tourism destination, assessing the city’s music ecology (venues, studios, heritage locations, etc.) and identify opportunities to promote Manchester as the Gateway to the North for music lovers.

Uncover the Cotswolds, led by Cotswolds Tourism on behalf of the wider region

Responding to feedback from tour operators, the ‘Uncover the Cotswolds’ project will create tours that bring together authentic local experiences within the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley into an easily bookable format for tour operators.

Authentic Collections, led by Hotels and More

The ‘Authentic England’ project will develop tours for up to 16, tailored by target market. The small group touring product will allow for bespoke experiences supporting smaller and privately owned accommodation providers as well as local restaurants.

Amplification projects following years one and two test and learn Discover England Fund pilots:

Brilliant Science, led by Marketing Cheshire

Amplification funding will focus on extending the stay of delegates attending scientific conferences in Manchester with thematic packages and bringing new scientific association conferences to Cheshire and Staffordshire.

Horseracing – Sport of Kings, led by Marketing Cheshire

Extending this project, which puts together itineraries incorporating England’s race-courses, ensures that they are precisely targeting GCC visitors by working with destination management companies (DMCs) and Travel Bureaus.

England’s Literary Greats, led by Visit Hampshire and Visit Nottinghamshire

The ‘England’s Literary Greats’ project will fine tune titineraries based around literary figures, adding associated film locations and deepening trade engagement.

England’s Seafood Coast, led by English Riviera BID

Building on years one and two of the project, ‘England’s Seafood Coast’ is set to transform the profile of England as a world-class seafood destination, curating and showcasing what is available to international visitors and tour operators.

Developing The Urban Food Hub, led by Destination Bristol

The  ‘Developing The Urban Food Hub’ project will focus on food and beverage products and activities from businesses that might normally be considered outside the tourism landscape, promoting Bristol as well as the rural area surrounding the city, as a destination of excellence in food and beverage experiences.

For more information about the Discover England Fund go to:


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