Local tourism businesses are strongly encouraged to check their eligibility for the Herefordshire Visitor Experience Fund, which is now open for applications.

The Herefordshire Visitor Experience Fund is a capital grant scheme funded by the UK Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). It aims to support the tourism sector by providing business growth for small or micro businesses, job creation, and the development of tourism infrastructure.

Eligible costs include capital items, such as the purchase of equipment specific to the project, building works (alterations to existing commercial buildings, excluding maintenance, or groundworks to create a trail - confirmation required for necessary approvals such as planning permission, landlords' consent, and building regulations, if applicable). Individual items must cost a minimum of £250.

Capital grants are available for businesses up to 70 percent of the total project costs.

The grant must be match-funded by the applicant's business. This is the difference between the grant being sought and the remaining cost of the project. The source of the match funding cannot be from other public funds for the item being purchased.

Cllr Graham Biggs, cabinet member for economy and growth, said, 'Tourism is a key part of both Herefordshire’s identity and our local economy. The opportunities for growth and job creation are something we are eager to promote as an authority. I encourage anyone eligible to check the criteria and, if they qualify, to submit their application.'

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday, December 3, 2023. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

For more information, visit the VEF page on the herefordshire.gov.uk website."