Funding available for Cornish Tourism and Hospitality Businesses

By Together for Tourism Futures - 21st May 2019

Cornish hospitality businesses, at the heart of the county’s vital tourism economy, are being offered what could potentially be the last opportunity to benefit from significant EU funding and investment.

A pot of over £1/2 million has just become available for a new ‘Together for Tourism Futures’ (TFT) programme which will be delivered over the next 12 months. Programme delivery team, Newquay for Excellence Training, (NfET) is urging Cornish hospitality businesses to act fast so they do not miss this chance to benefit.

Hospitality businesses are a vital cornerstone of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly economy, accounting for 25% of all employment and contributing in excess of £10 billion to the local economy through visitor spend. With a long-standing reputation as one of the UK’s strongest tourism assets, and the best UK holiday destination, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly attract 4.5 million overnight visitors and 14 million day trips a year, as well as servicing year-round trade from local residents.

However, tourism delivery businesses of all sizes are experiencing a concurrent set of key challenges including difficultly recruiting and low rates of staff retention, the need for a more highly skilled workforce to raise productivity, a shortage of skilled chefs, low value in terms of pay and skills, seasonality and forecasting pressures as well as the loss of a number of a large valued employees as a result of Brexit uncertainties.

Underlying data from the latest Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Employment and Skills Strategy 2016-2030 confirms the hospitality sector’s position in the Top 10 largest sectors by employment, and as the Top 10 fastest growth sector by the same measures. However, ongoing investment to sustain this position and the new ‘Together for Tourism Futures’ funding pot is likely to be the last opportunity for critical businesses to access this invaluable funding from the European Union.

The announcement of the of £1/2 million funding pot for the new programme means up to 60 SME local businesses, with between 1 and 250 employees, can each benefit from over £8,000 of funding support, with a honed, bespoke programme of in-house training, mentoring and development to fit their specific challenges and needs. Hospitality businesses include hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and cafes,bars and camping, holiday parks with on-site hospitality establishments and visitor attractions.

Several businesses have already signed-up to the programme including Red Hotels (The Scarlet & Bedruthan Hotels) Mawgan Porth, the Budock Vean Hotel, Mawnan Smith, the Bowgie Inn, Crantock, Headland Hotel, Newquay, and the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, plus others countywide.

Businesses that join for the programme will access a Skills Mentor who will work with internal team members to swiftly identify the key issues faced by the establishment and build gold-standard tailored development programme. A team of industry specialists will immediately get to work, delivering the tailored in-house activity in a flexible way, as and when the business can fit it into their capacity.

Successful Together for Tourism Futures businesses will also gain access to an ongoing series of exclusive member masterclasses and events, designed around key industry issues that they are experiencing right now. Joining the programme essentially brings a VIP membership club status and key networking opportunities with some of the county’s finest businesses.

Martin Barlow, Managing Director of Budock Vean Hotel, said, “I would urge anyone to speak to NfET regarding the TFT programme. What we have already gained from the programme far outweighs our initial investment and we still have 12 months to go.”

Ruth Atkinson, Director of Newquay for Excellence Training, who is leading the programme, said, “As we approach Brexit, the pressures on our brilliant hospitality businesses are intensifying by the minute. We would hate businesses to miss out on this time-limited opportunity for vital investment in their teams and in their businesses.”

Ruth continued, “Our hospitality industry has been extremely fortunate to have received such an impactful level of ongoing support from the EU over the past few decades, this £1/2 million is likely to be one of the last major funding opportunities for establishments of all shapes and sizes up to 250 employees. Time is ticking, so we’re encouraging them to get in touch with us immediately. The sooner they sign-up, the more benefits they’ll get.  If they sign-up now, we can be ultimately flexible in how their bespoke support is arranged.”

Abi Bradley, Deputy General Manager for Cornish Resorts, who runs the Trenython Manor near Tywardreath said, “Together for Tourism Futures has already offered us a different perspective and has allowed us to work towards building a more positive environment for our people.”

Those keen to know more, or to sign up to Together for Tourism Futures, (TFT) should contact [email protected]or call 01637 871067 ASAP.

TFT is holding a Breakfast meeting on Monday 3 June 2019 08:00 – 10:00hrs at The Headland Hotel and would like to invite any tourism, hospitality, leisure or travel business to come and meet members that are already getting the most out of the programme as well as the TFT team. To book your places, email Claire Evans on [email protected].

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