THE announcement last week that additional funds of £10m will be provided to help boost communities dependent on tourism has been welcomed by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

Small businesses in tourist destinations across the North-East and North Yorkshire will be able to apply for support of up to £5,000 from the Kick-Starting Tourism Package to help them adapt to the coronavirus pandemic.

Middlesbrough MP Simon Clarke, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, confirmed the new funding will be distributed to communities immediately to kick-start tourism in time for the summer as part of the Government’s drive to boost the recovery of the economy.

Mr Clarke said: “Kick-starting domestic tourism will be key to our economic recovery and that is why I am delighted to announce £10m in new funding for small businesses in tourist destinations, bringing jobs, investment, and financial support to the communities who need it the most.”

Many areas across the region have experienced a significant fall in tourist and visitor numbers in recent months. The initiative will help ensure that popular tourist areas are firmly open for business this summer. All of the money will come from government with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially.

CLA Director North, Dorothy Fairburn said: “The CLA welcomes this additional funding to support the re-launching of tourism businesses across England, and it is particularly apt at a time when many attractions are reopening their doors to visitors from July.”

“Despite reports of an explosion in bookings for local destinations, many rural businesses in the sector will find the next few months highly challenging.”

“The CLA encourages farmers and landowners with tourism offerings to contact their local growth hubs, as these bodies have been allocated the funding in accordance with how much of their employment base is linked to tourism and hospitality businesses, most of which are based in rural areas.”

Businesses will be able to use the funding to pay for specialist professional advice such as HR, legal or financial expertise, to adopt new technology and online systems or to purchase new equipment.