Wirral’s tourism businesses are being advised to capitalise on new funding opportunities aimed at ‘kick starting’ hospitality and leisure destination industries.
Cllr Christine Spriggs, Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative and Visitor Economy welcomed the announcement of a £10 million Government package, aimed at small businesses in tourist destinations.
Tourism plays an important part in Wirral’s economy. It was estimated to be worth £458m in 2019, with more than 5,000 workers in the industry – a growth of 36% in the last ten years. During last year more than 9 million visitors came to Wirral on day trips and short breaks.
Cllr Spriggs said: “There are so many great reasons to visit and stay in Wirral, but just as the tourism season was about to begin, the Covid-19 pandemic impacted heavily.
“Many of the tourism businesses we are so proud of for their uniqueness and high quality, are struggling to survive. The council will be working to ensure local businesses benefit from this new support for the tourism sector, which is so important for Wirral’s long-term economic recovery.”
Speaking at the Local Government Association’s annual conference, Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke confirmed the new funding will be distributed to communities immediately to kick start tourism in time for the summer as part of the government’s drive to boost the recovery of the economy.
Eligible businesses will be able to access support of up to £5,000 to help them adapt their businesses following the coronavirus pandemic.
Businesses can use the funding to pay for specialist professional advice such as human resources, legal or financial expertise, to adopt new technology and online systems or to purchase new equipment. 100% of the money will come from government with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially.
The funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will be allocated to Local Growth Hubs based on how much of their employment base is linked to tourism and hospitality businesses. This means that coastal and rural areas – with a bigger proportion of their economy focused on tourism, hospitality and allied sectors, will get a larger share of the funds.
More information about the funding is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-10-million-for-small-businesses-to-kickstart-tourism?utm_source=1b97034c-7288-403a-84e8-e1e00c01cbf5&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
When guidance on applications is received, Wirral Council will make this information available on its business support page on wirral.gov.uk