Government announces £10 million package for UK SMEs to kickstart tourism

Local communities across the UK that are very dependant on tourism will receive a major boost from a new £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package.

Speaking at the Local Government Association’s annual conference, Minister Clarke confirmed the new funding will be distributed to specific communities immediately to help kick start the local tourism industry in time for the summer as part of the government’s drive to boost the recovery of the economy.

The £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package, will give UK small businesses SMEs in tourist across the country destinations grants of up to £5,000 per SME to help them adapt their businesses and make it ready for the peak tourism period this summer.

UK SMEs can use the funding to pay for specialist professional advice such as HR, legal or financial expertise, to implement new technology or online systems or to purchase new equipment needed to help them reopen. 100% of the money will come from government with no obligation for the small and local businesses to contribute financially.

Due to the lockdown many local towns and communities that rely on the tourism trade have experienced a significant fall in tourist and visitor numbers in recent months. The initiative will help ensure that tourist hot-spots are firmly open for business this summer.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said "Our tourism sector is hugely important - creating jobs, supporting businesses and driving local economies in villages, towns and cities across the country. It is vital that we help the sector bounce back and give it the platform to recover when it reopens from tomorrow."

The Kick-Starting Tourism Package is supported by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 to 2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. For more information visit

Funding will be allocated to each 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.

Activities supported through the £10 million grant can include:

  • one-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus

  • small grants (£1,000 - £5,000) to:

  • help businesses access specialist professional advice e.g. human resources, accountants, legal, financial, IT / digital

  • purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify

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