Grant scheme launched to help tourism sector through winter
PUBLISHED: 12:26 29 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:03 29 September 2020
A Norfolk council has launched a £175,000 support fund to help tourism businesses make it through the winter following months of strain brought about by the pandemic.
North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has set up the tourism sector support fund, with grants of up to £20,000 on offer for organisations and businesses.
Sarah Bütikofer, NNDC leader, said: “I think it’s really important we do everything we possibly can to support our businesses and if some of them have the opportunity to extend their season either at the end of this year or indeed start early next then we should be supporting them in whatever way we can.”
Grants can fall into two categories - ‘project and initiatives’ and ‘winter adaption’.
‘Winter adaption’ grants are to help businesses make any changes they need to see it through winter, while ‘project and initiatives’ are to encourage firms and other groups to think creatively and work together on ways to draw visitors and stimulate the local economy.
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Richard Kershaw, NNDC’s portfolio holder for economic and career growth, said: “This funding is going to be used to extend the season, its focus is getting expressions of interest from business which have suffered due to coronavirus and the aim is getting those businesses through to the next season, as many as possible.”
North Norfolk’s visitor economy has been particularly hard hit by Covid-19 and the lockdown that followed.
Although the district saw an influx of visitors and holidaymakers taking ‘staycations’ rather than going abroad after travel restrictions were lifted, social distancing rules and an ongoing reluctance to use high street shops and other businesses could make for challenging times ahead.
The council hopes the grants issued through the fund will help build consumer confidence, as it continues to promote the district as a year-round destination through the ‘Deep History Coast’ campaign launched last year.
The money comes from NNDC’s £330,000 share of a Norfolk Strategic Fund launched by the county council at the end of July.
Anyone interested in apply for a grant can do so by October 19 via www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/tasks/economic-growth/tourism-sector-support-grant.
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