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£35 million government fund to help rural businesses

These grants are to help create distinctive and high quality destinations that reflect and enhance the rich diversity of the local tourism offer in Norfolk and Suffolk. They are for capital investments to grow and develop tourism in rural areas. Priority will be given to projects that address one or more of the following:

• create new and develop existing sustainable visitor attractions and/or leisure activities, to: - increase the range and quality of activities for visitors - increase the number of overnight stays - increase the length of visitor stays - extend the visitor season, i.e. between October and March - increase visitor spend

• develop infrastructure to connect rural tourism businesses, including: - cycle paths and footpaths - local tourism signage

• create year-round sustainable jobs in the applicant business

The minimum grant is £20,000, with a maximum grant award capped at £175,000. It’s a two stage application process, with initial EOI, followed by a full application.

Profit and not for profit organisations (including local authorities) can apply. In terms of profit-making businesses, small and micros are eligible. Projects must be rurally based.

Projects must deliver against two or more from:

Create jobs Create at least 1 FTE job for every £30,000 of grant funding.

Creates skilled jobs Extend the tourism season Attracts tourists outside the usual period of May to October.

Develop tourist attractions and infrastructure - creates or develops tourist attractions and infrastructure to increase the range of attractions available locally, encourage tourists to stay longer and increase their spend.

Wider benefits - the project provides benefits to the wider tourism economy in the rural area.

Here is a link to the detailed PDF document:

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