Thousands of pounds are up for grabs to help fund the promotion of events right across Cumbria, with organisers being invited to begin the applications process for a share of the cash now.
The process to apply for grants from the Lakes Hospitality Association (LHA) has been opened-up to everyone for the first time, with a slice from a £15,000 pot available for events taking place outside of the busy tourist seasons.
Those who are successful in their applications for a grant will be provided with funds of up to £2,500 to assist with each event’s public relations and sales & marketing strategies through working with Cumbria Tourism.
Funds are raised by the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show, which celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2020 and takes place at the J36 Auction Mart on 25-26 March.
Attracting hundreds of hospitality professionals to Cumbria every year, exhibitors at the show represent everything from décor and furniture to insurance and eco-friendly products.
Describing their event funding offer as “a fundamental principle” of the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show, the LHA says the scheme creates a direct way of ploughing money back into Cumbria’s essential tourism industry.
To further boost all year-round tourism, the LHA is looking for events taking place outside the main tourist season.
Previous funding beneficiaries include Bowness Bay Blues Festival, Kendal Torchlight Carnival, Windermere and Hawkshead Christmas Markets and the Barrow Super Soapbox Challenge.
LHA director, James Tasker, said: “The Lakes Hospitality Trade Show is unique – not only for being the only show of its kind in the area, but as profits are redirected back into projects and events that will directly benefit local economies, the Bowness Bay Blues Festival and the Kendal Torchlight Festival being a couple of high profile examples – the latter of which sees the population of the town double during the evening, which is a welcome post-summer financial boost.
“While the trade show itself is just a two-day event, its effects are more far-reaching than for just that time-period and for individuals who work in our industry. The whole Cumbrian community feels the benefits of the trade show all year-round, thanks to large chunks of funding being raised for some of the county’s best-loved events. A highlight of the summer was in Barrow, where 14,000 people enjoyed the Super Soapbox Challenge.
“We’re really excited to see our grants scheme grow from strength to strength as we work hand-in-hand with both local businesses and communities to help Cumbria grow and prosper during what we all know are increasingly competitive and uncertain times.”
Working in partnership with Cumbria Tourism, the LHA will review each application thoroughly, so the more information applicants can provide, the better.
Events must take place between September 2020 and August 2021. They can be brand-new or established events but must be taking place outside of the main tourist seasons, such as the school summer holidays.