THE Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership (HTAP) has opened a grant scheme – Tourism Innovation Grant Scheme – aimed at boosting tourism in the Sedgemoor and West Somerset areas.
The new grant scheme is specifically designed to support small to medium sized businesses to provide a greater range of visitor products and experiences.
Grants between £5,000 and £10,000 will be made available to businesses and organisations operating in the tourism, hospitality and events sector.
Businesses who apply are encouraged to ideas which improve the tourism offer the local economy and promote a ‘greener’ visitor experience if possible.
Qualifying projects may fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Higher-spend customer markets
- Genuinely new service provision
- Shoulder season visitor opportunities
- New networks or partnerships that consolidate activity into a package that enhances the visitor experience
Applicants are required to match-fund a minimum 10% of the awarded grant and the scheme closes on 12 September or until all funding is allocated. Any small business partnerships or networks looking to apply should visit Hinkley tourism partnership webpage.
A spokesperson said: “The value of tourism towards Somerset’s economy is substantial. Prior to the pandemic, 23 million day trips and 2.6 million overnight stays helped generate £1.3bn each year, in turn providing employment for 10 per cent of the county’s total workforce.
“Tourism is even more significant in Sedgemoor and West Somerset, accounting for 40% of all staying visitor activity across the county.
“The HTAP was set up in 2013 to mitigate the impact on the local community from the development of nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C on the West Somerset coast.
“The partnership provides various schemes and initiatives including housing, business support, skills and tourism.
“The partner members include Somerset West and Taunton Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council, EDF Energy, Visit Somerset, Visit Exmoor and Exmoor National Park Authority.”