Month: May 2016

New free destination intelligence service

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Gain greater insight into your destinations tourism performance.  The new FREE to British Destination members, downloadable Destination Intelligence Dashboard makes understanding and reporting on your destination even easier. Find out more here.

Critical information Coastal Communities Fund

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At a Tourism Alliance policy briefing session yesterday the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) team briefed us on the new round 4 Coastal Communities Fund across the UK, but with particular reference to England.

The immediate issue.  During the briefing it was said that although 4 year’s worth of additional funding had been agreed (2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21)  DCLG, in England at least, they were planning to roll the 4 years into just two bidding rounds with the potential, depending on progress made, for a smaller third round as a moping up exercise, presumably in 2020/21 (?).

Separate announcements for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still due to be made sometime in June and no comment on whether the same approach would be adopted in any or all of the other home nations was made or (apologies) due to time constraints, were sought.

The DCLG plan might be known to everyone else in the coastal sector but it certainly came as news to me and news with potentially major planning and preparatory implications attached.  I, as others might also be assuming, thought there would be 4 annual application opportunities in England between now and the end of the 4 year programme. The biannual approach now means that anyone missing the 30 June 2016 English application deadline for round 4 can’t now apply again for the fifth and potentially last major round until 2018/19 for funds that, if granted, will only be made available over the 2019/20 -2020/21 financial years. I think that is a fairly significant but and if known, an entirely manageable planning factor that coastal destinations in England and potentially elsewhere, need to be alerted to.

Details of the round 4 application process in England are currently available on the Big Lottery website, where news of and the material for bids in other home nations will also be posted in due course:

Future considerations. It is not unreasonable to suggest that coastal communities as a whole should be grateful that their particular funding needs have been recognized and that they have access to a separate funding mechanism that others have not.  Having  first gain and now retained CCF, there is still job of work to be done to argue for continued investment beyond 2020/21.  That may not be an immediate priority for individual destinations but, for those directly involved in the strategic lobbying efforts around CCF it is worth noting now that we were also told that the percentage, albeit of a steadily increasing Crown Estates marine revenue, had been cut from the previous figure of 50% to 33%.

That is a major change which brings in to question some of the assumptions we have made around just how much money is being made available to each home nation over the next four years.  The Chancellor’s headline announcement was for at least £90m over the period but for whom and therefore how much in total or each wasn’t and still isn’t entirely clear. It perhaps begs further searching questions of colleagues in DCLG and the other devolved administrations and it may also give us some food for thought on possible lobbying angles beyond simply fighting to retaining what had been a rapidly growing annual funding mechanism.  These are thing we can start to discuss during Annual Conference in June ( and at future meetings thereafter.

None of this is intended to be critical of the UK and devolved Governments or DCLG as the coordinating department; all of whom have done sterling work, often again the odds, in securing and delivering the fund. All I am trying to do is make sure those who need to understand the changing  practical circumstance understand the detail before the event and not after it.

Wanting to improve Coach and Group travel?

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Stuart Render former editor of coach tourism trade magazine Coach Monthly, former chairman of the judging panel of the National Coach Tourism Awards, past Board member of the Coach Tourism Council and an old friend of British Destinations and many of its member destinations, is now offering bespoke consultancy services.  If you or individual local businesses are wish to increase or better manage coach and group travel activities then we recommend that you consider Stuart’s services:

Visit Manchester’s speaker confirmed

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We have all heard of Visit Manchester and most of know instinctively that it is one of the biggest and most successful “DMO” in the UK but how many of us really know what it does for whom or how it operates?  What are the model’s major strengths and any weaknesses and critically what transferable lessons are there for other City and non-City destinations of similar or much smaller size elsewhere in the UK?

We are delighted that Nick Brooks-Sykes Director of Tourism – Marketing Manchester has confirmed that he will be Marketing Manchester speaker on the afternoon of 20 June at the Ramada Plaza hotel Southport.  For more on the conference sessions PM Monday 20th – AM Tuesday 21 June, or to book please visit: 


Coastal Communities Fund round 4 launched in England

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Following last week’s webinar  round 4 of the Coastal Communities fund was officially launched in England today . Bid of between £50k and £4m can be made.

The DCLG press release outlining the programme can be accessed at: .  whilst further detail regarding the criteria and application process can be obtained from the Big Lottery Fund who are administering the fund at:

Background on all other home nations Coastal Communities Fund  programmes, which have yet to be launched are available via the Big Lottery link above.


More conference speaker detail confirmed

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We are delighted to confirm that Kurt Janson the Director of the Tourism Alliance will be presenting the Alliance’s session at British Destinations’ annual conference in Southport 19/20-21 June 2016.  Kurt’s presentation, now programmed to take place 14:50 – 15:35 during the opening Monday afternoon sessions (13:45- 17:15) on 20th June of this two day event, will cover key tactical and strategic industry lobbying activities and review the current geopolitical environment in which UK domestic and international tourism operates.

Kurt’s session follows presentations from our hosts Sefton Council/ Visit Southport. These sessions led by Mark Catherall Service Manager Tourism will look at the manner and means of destination management in the principle resort of Southport and the linked rural and urban areas of the wider borough, with an emphasis on the commercialization of the delivery of key tourism services and events; or put more simply: how to keep effective destination management functioning in an environment of public sector austerity.

For more detail or to book visit:  

Coastal Communities Fund update

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The baseline presentation and recordings of yesterday’s two fully subscribed pre-round 4 application webinar for England can now be accessed from the main CCF website at: . For ease the reverent references from that site are reproduced below.

The webinar date for Scotland is 24 June and for  Wales and Northern Ireland they have yet to be Published.

Extract form CCF websites reads:

You can download the Round 4 England webinar presentation here. There are recordings of two sessions which can be downloaded below:

11:00 am webinar – Download session oneGoes to different websiteOpens in new window

2:00pm webinar – Download session twoGoes to different websiteOpens in new window