Following on from announcing the completion of a successful funding round earlier this year, OxLEP has confirmed that it is set to re-open its Visitor Economy Grant Scheme for a second time, with significant grants available to eligible Oxfordshire-based businesses.
OxLEP Business – who operate as the Growth Hub for Oxfordshire – are again looking to reach out to as many businesses as possible operating within Oxfordshire’s visitor economy, including those companies who sit within tourism-related sub sectors, many of which are vital to an overall, successful visitor economy.
Grants of between £10,000 and £15,000 are set to be available per successful business during this round of funding, with a total £250,000 pot available.
Ahead of the applications for the fund opening on 16 August, businesses who are interested in accessing the Visitor Economy Grant Scheme are being encouraged to sign-up to an OxLEP Business webinar – to take place on the same day – which will highlight to interested parties just who it is who can access the scheme and what outcomes companies are expected to generate from grants.
Applications for this round of funding is currently set to close on 30 August.
As a sector that generated around £2.5billion each year to the Oxfordshire economy pre-pandemic, this OxLEP programme aims to ensure the county can both retain and build its visitor economy market share.
The scheme’s reintroduction follows OxLEP Business announcing in February that a first round of the fund saw over £600,000 directed into Oxfordshire organisations who either operate in or support tourism and visitor experiences, with companies from right across the county benefiting from the last round of investment – part of a concerted programme of activity supporting the visitor economy.
The grant scheme is part of OxLEP’s £1.64million Visitor Economy Renaissance Programme, funding for which was secured by OxLEP via the government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund.
OxLEP are working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council to facilitate the funding process of the programme, which includes the Visitor Economy Grant Scheme.
OxLEP Business hope to also connect with those companies who sit within tourism-related sub sectors, many of which are vital to a successful visitor economy.
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP said – “We are delighted to be able to reintroduce this grant scheme to Oxfordshire businesses operating within our vital visitor economy. Pre-Covid 19, our visitor economy was worth around 10% of Oxfordshire’s overall GVA, with the county attracting around 30 million visitors per year, so it’s very important that we are able to provide further positive interventions to this critical sector.
“We therefore encourage those companies operating within our visitor economy, as well as those delivering services as part of the sector’s various supply chains and sub-sectors, to sign-up to our upcoming webinar to find out more on the scheme and understand what a grant could mean to their company.”
First round Visitor Economy Grant Scheme recipients from earlier in the year saw funding support several key areas, including supporting businesses to generate more effective digital activity to attract more visitors, backing upgrades to on-site facilities to create better guest experiences and accessibility, as well as helping companies to create greater spectator and community participation opportunities at visitor locations.
Nigel Tipple added: “Our grant scheme has already supported numerous different areas within tourism in Oxfordshire with all areas of the county benefitting from investment. This reflects and recognises that we have multiple locations in the county that rely on a successful visitor economy, and we would once again encourage interest from businesses across the county.”
To find more and to sign-up to the upcoming 16 August webinar – which starts at 9am – go to the OxLEP Business website.