The fund, part of the Government's Tourism Action Plan, is designed to help finance 'world class tourism projects' and experiences across England.
The latest bids receiving year-one funding are:
- Passport to the Coast: A project designed by the National Coastal Tourism Academy to engage coastal tourism businesses between Hull and Harwich to produce thematic itineraries to inspire visitors to discover the coast.
- The last mile by e-car: A pilot scheme to help international visitors discover the English countryside in an eco-friendly way. Focusing on Oxford and the Cotswolds, the trial will involve the e-car club placing electric car club vehicles at convenient locations, allowing international visitors to explore the countryside better.
- Cultural England from Hull to Liverpool: Taking advantage of its 2017 status as the UK City of Culture, Hull will lead on a project that highlights the cultural offer of northern England by developing an itinerary that can be accessed by German and Dutch visitors travelling with P&O Ferries. The itinerary will develop Hull as an international gateway, test the appeal of cultural experiences in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and scope the introduction of a Transpennine Cultural Rover rail ticket.
- The Friendly Invasion: A project designed to help US visitors better learn about the history of US airmen based in East Anglia during the Second World War. Packaging up a range of experiences that includes the essence of England combined with themed events and tours of the airbases themselves, this new product will be promoted to US consumers through the well-established memorial societies who are devoted to keeping the history of the Americans in England alive.
These latest bids to receive year-one funding of the three-year scheme, were chosen following a 'rigorous application process' and take the number of projects to benefit from the scheme in its first year to 21.
VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “We are delighted with the calibre of the successful round-one projects and we look forward to working closely with the winners to build world-class ‘bookable’ English tourism products to support the growth of one of England’s most successful industries, tourism.”
The three-year Discover England Fund ensures 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, driving growth from international visitors across the regions and benefitting domestic visitors.
Round two of the Fund – which opened in August - calls for large scale destination led collaborative bids worth more than £1m. A smaller funding pot for new year-one projects and pilots, and continuation funding for existing round one projects that demonstrate early learning, will also be available.
Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch said: "The Discover England fund will help promote fantastic tourist destinations for overseas visitors and Brits holidaying at home. With so many beautiful and historic places to explore across England, this is a brilliant opportunity to share the benefits of our booming tourist industry throughout the country."