£40m Discover England Fund will create thousands of jobs, says Tourism Alliance
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£40m Discover England Fund will create thousands of jobs, says Tourism Alliance

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The Tourism Alliance has praised the announcement in last week’s Autumn Statement of a new £40m Discover England Fund – a lifeline the industry body says will help create thousands of jobs.

Chancellor George Osborne revealed the fund last week as he set out his Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Osborne said deep cuts to culture budgets would be a “false economy” due to the revenue its industries help to generate. He added that the Arts Council’s budget will be protected, and free museum entry will be maintained.

The £40m Discover England Fund is designed to support the government’s new Five Point Plan for Tourism, which it hopes will aid regional economic growth and create thousands of new jobs over the next three years.

The new fund is a boost for the UK’s tourism industry and recognition from the government that the sector has been at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery. The Tourism Alliance estimates that the funds will boost tourism revenue by more than £600m over a three-year period, creating almost 4,000 new jobs across the country.

“We are delighted that the government recognises the economic benefits of tourism with an extremely pro-tourism Autumn Statement,” said Bernard Donoghue, Tourism Alliance chair.

“This fund, combined with the commitment of £60m to the GREAT Campaign in overseas markets and the £1.6bn investment in cultural projects, museums and galleries gives this sector the tools it needs to boost the UK’s status as one of the world’s premier destinations for both leisure and business visitors.”

Despite the funding boost, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the tourism sector last week. Osborne also confirmed plans to give new powers to local authorities for setting business rates and spending their proceeds. The move has previously been described by Tourism Society director Kurt Janson as likely to lead to an “even more fragmented and patchy tourism landscape,” with tourism hotspots in rural areas and seaside destinations with even bigger investment problems than they currently face.

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The Tourism Alliance has praised the announcement in last week’s Autumn Statement of a new £40m Discover England Fund – a lifeline the industry body says will help create thousands of jobs.
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