European Funding -supporting innovation & cross border working in Kent for tourism cooperation with partners overseas
Interreg is a European funding initiative founded in 1989 with the aim of supporting cross-border, transnational and inter-regional co-operation between different European Member States. The Interreg programmes have been and will continue to be a key vehicle for local authorities and organisations to work with EU partners on projects of common interest. Visit Kent is eligible to participate in two cross border programmes. the INTERREG VA 2 Seas programme and the INTERREG France Channel England programme (the two programmes under which our current projects are funded).
Through cooperating with partners overseas, Visit Kent seeks to not only boost the tourism industry in Kent, but to ensure that visitors enjoy and benefit from their visit in order to encourage repeat visits in the North Sea, 2 Seas and cross Channel area. Two of our most recent Interreg projects, Profit and GoTrade are being delivered in partnership with partners in England, Netherlands, Flanders and the France under the above programmes.
EXPERIENCE is a brand new project that will provide support in Kent to help develop the experiential off-season economy in the future. The project is a 4-year scheme that runs from 1st September 2019 to 30th June 2023, involving 14 partners in France and England. Led by Norfolk County Council, both Visit Kent and the Kent Downs AONB are core partners with distinctive roles underpinned by budgets of €1.6 and €3.1 million respectively.
EXPERIENCE is a €23.3 million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (€16 million) through the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme.
Experience aims to capitalise on the emerging global trend for personalised and local tourism experiences which increasingly provide the all-important reasons to visit. In particular, from Autumn 2020, Visit Kent, working with its local authority partners, will be looking to engage both tourism and non-traditional tourism actors across Kent in an innovative Product Development Programme. Its objective will be to engender a bottom-up approach that engages and gives SMEs a sense of ownership that will deliver lasting change, create a legacy of experiential tourism and encourage the experience-led business collaboration that is expected by our visitors.
The experiences will be designed to appeal to visitors between October and March. This will extend the tourist season and bring in money to the local economies of the project’s six areas of which Kent is one.
At the end of the project, the new tourism strategy and learning gained through EXPERIENCE will be shared freely on our website. This will enable regions through the UK, France and across the world to take the experiential tourism model and tailor it to their own areas.
In the context of the current COVID-19 crisis, this project will be a vital activity for us to rebuild the sector throughout Kent and the Channel area in 2020-21.
For more information contact Visit Kent or read the press release.
Match funding partner councils of EXPERIENCE:
As part of the project, we are pleased to launch a series of free webinars designed to help your business through the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re working with expert businesses to deliver inspiring and interactive sessions which will prepare your business as we start to welcome back visitors in a new world of social distancing. Find out more here...
Visit Kent Ltd has been awarded €355,000 share of a project worth approximately €1.7 million (ERDF) that is focusing on BIG DATA FOR SMALL BUSINESSES in the tourism sector. Over the next three years, through the INTERREG PROFIT project, we have a unique opportunity to combine data from businesses, local and national government departments and the wider supply chain to create more knowledge and intelligence about the customer in the destination.
Competitiveness in the future is about combining our strengths and learning about what makes our destinations unique. Businesses of all sizes need a better understanding of their customers and this involves having a much wider range of information regarding consumer behaviour. This project will help you to take better, informed decisions in the future.
The partners working with Visit Kent Ltd include Westtoer (Belgium), Visit Essex (UK), Pas de Calais Tourisme (France), International Social Tourism Organisation (Belgium), Chamber of Commerce Opal Coast (France), HZ University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands) and Impuls Zeeland (Netherlands).
The PROFIT project will enable us to guide SMEs to become more innovative and take advantage of the available resources. Over the next three years, a series of activities and tools, including a vibrant and dynamic personalised dashboard of information that will offer SMEs a significant competitive edge. There will also be coaching and training to enable pilot SMEs in Kent to capitalise on opportunities that emerge.
For more information, please see the following video of the project's Kent launch below or go to the INTERREG 2 SEAS website.
For further information go to the PROFIT project website - www.profittourism.eu
For more information, please see the following video of the project's Kent launch below.
Visit Kent Ltd has been awarded €168,143.58 share of a project worth approximately €3.8 million (ERDF) that will open up opportunities through targeted tourism promotion and tailor-made business support for market traders. Headed up by Gravesham Borough Council, the GoTrade project, which stands for Growth of the Visitor Economy through Traditional Markets, Employment and Skills, will last just over three years.
The main aim of the project is to increase visitor footfall across a number of town centres throughout the partnerships area, by enhancing the visitor experience of traditional markets.
The Interreg France (Channel) England (FCE) Programme is a European Territorial Cooperation programme that aims to fund high quality cooperation projects in the Channel border region between France and England. It focuses on a range of specific objectives including supporting innovation, improving the attractiveness of the FCE area and developing low carbon technologies. The Programme has a total of €223 million of ERDF funds to distribute by 2023 and is managed by Managing Authority Norfolk County Council.
The Programme operates within a clearly defined eligible area, covering the South and East Coasts of England from Cornwall to Norfolk, and the North Coast of France from Finistère to Pas-de-Calais.
Download the latest GoTrade newsletter.
More information about the Programme can be found at https://interreg5a-fce.eu/