VisitBritain is offering destination management companies in the UK access to a funding pool of £4 million to help secure international business events following the Brexit vote.
Support of up to £4 million in funding and advocacy is available through this programme.
Applicants can apply for funding from the £1 million pool annually.
Advocacy, in the form of endorsements from government ministers, overseas diplomatic missions and other key influencers, is also on offer.
Visit Britain’s Event Support Programme is an initiative which forms part of a commitment to support and build the UK’s business visits and events sector, in line with the Government’s business visits and events strategy. The programme supports the attraction, growth and development of new and existing international business events which align with Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s industrial and academic sector expertise. It is expected to run for four years and provides advocacy and financial support.
Three funding streams are open for applications:
- Support to attract international business events to Britain and Northern Ireland - With an emphasis on advocacy to help win bids for international events. In addition it could also include financial support for marketing activity that will help secure the event.
- Support to grow the economic value of secured events – Support for marketing activity that will boost the economic impact of the event, including trade and investment opportunities and increased delegate numbers.
- Support to create new international business events – For example, growing an existing domestic business event into a significant international event, or an initiative that will introduce a new, or cloned version of an established overseas event to Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The following exclusions apply to this programme:
- Events relating to the defence sector, or for any activity that could bring the GREAT Britain campaign into disrepute, do not qualify for support from this Programme
- Funding from this programme cannot be used to pay hosting fees for events
The programme is open to Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) or venues and event organisers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland who are collaborating with DMOs.
Applications must be discussed and agreed with local DMOs (if applicant is not a DMO) prior to application.
DMO applications must be agreed with the relevant National Tourist Board (NTB) - VisitEngland, London & Partners, Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales.
Any applications for financial support must demonstrate match funding of at least 50% of the proposed activity. This can be cash or in-kind support intended to secure aligned to the activity proposed in the application.
As part of the Event Support Programme there are several types of support available. Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) and venues and event organisers who are collaborating with DMOs can apply for one or a combination of the support packages below.
Advocacy - non-financial support
VisitBritain and DCMS are working with cross-Government partners on a non-financial support package which could include, for example:
- Letters of support from Ministerial and senior Government figures
- Letters of support from non-Government influencers
- Video messages from Ministerial and senior Government figures
- Attendance at a bid support activity by a Government Minister or influencer (eg at the location of the current rotation of the event)
- Hosting a reception for event organisers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland to push the British offer
- Utilising Heads of Mission and diplomatic missions overseas
- UKTI support
- UKV&I support
Short-term financial support
Financial support is available for activity to boost the value of existing events; for marketing activity that can help to secure events; and to establish new events with the key principle being that it must not fund “business as usual” activity. Applications for financial support could include, for example:
- Marketing activity to boost delegate demand, length of stay in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and regional spread
- Provision of trade and investment platforms for businesses in Great Britain and Northern Ireland alongside an event
- Delegate research activity that will boost future advocacy for trade/investment in the relevant sector
- Campaign activity to secure an event, in parallel with advocacy support
- Use of innovative technology to improve the delegate experience / collect data
- Welcome initiatives at ports of entry
- Applications for short-term financial support for spend during year 2016/17 closed on 16 September 2016.
- Applications for advocacy – non-financial support can be received on a regular basis. Visit Brritain recommends applying as far in advance as possible to get the best possible assistance, for example Ministerial commitments booked in.
- Applications for a forward commitment of financial support for spend in year 2017/18 are closed on 14 October 2016.
- Applications for potential future financial support for spend in years 2018/19 and 2019/20 can be received on an ongoing basis
Link to guidelines:
- An assessment panel will meet on a regular basis to consider applications submitted
- The panel consists of representatives from VisitBritain, UK Trade & Investment, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the GREAT Britain campaign and the private sector
- Online applications will only be considered if the criteria has been verified which includes prior discussion with an NTB and / or the local DMO
Note: Applications will only be considered if they have already been discussed, and agreed as viable with the relevant National Tourist Board (London & Partners, Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitEngland, VisitScotland, Visit Wales), and with Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) as applicable.