The Discover England Fund was originally announced by VisitEngland back in 2015 and initially consisted of a three year £40 million fund.
The aim was to help ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time.
DMOs had the opportunity to bid to develop and deliver relevant projects that would support the objectives of the fund.
Marketing Liverpool was successful with its bid for the North of England City Experience project which created culturally-themed, bookable products across Newcastle, Hull, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. The concept of presenting these former industrial cities through their unique cultural experiences has been well received across the target markets.
In September 2019 it was confirmed that the Discover England Fund would receive £5.5 million of new public funding to deliver a 5th year of the programme. 12 projects including North of England City Experience have been awarded up to £158,000 from Year 5 of the fund. Marketing Liverpool will continue to lead on this project.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, year 5 will target the domestic and near European millennial market with products such as cultural immersion experiences, food and drink, flexible inter-city travel, independent orientated hotels and retail. The programme of activity includes an audit, re-building of activity and scaling up of the product to drive immediate bookings. This will include targeted social media profiling and ensuring consistency of messages and narrative on digital platforms. It is anticipated that the fund will help to aid recovery and help to ensure we are in a strong position for when international tourism recovers. Project activities are due to be completed by 31 March 2021.
This is one of a number of successful projects made possible by HM Government’s £40m Discover England Fund, administered by VisitEngland.
You can find out more about the programme here