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Tourism Grant Scheme Application Pack

In this section you will find the following information:

Guidance Notes and Eligibility Criteria

Please read all sections of these guidance notes before filling in an application form.

Scheme Administration

The Economic Development Team will administer the grant on behalf of Malvern Hills District Council.

This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Scheme Aims

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund Tourism Grant Scheme aims to support the Malvern Hills district tourism industry to grow over a two-year period with the opportunity to:

  • Encourage businesses to adopt greener practices.
  • Help with the upkeep of local Attractions.
  • Improve the visitor experience.
  • Improve accessibility at Attractions.
  • Encourage Festival and Event development in the Town Centres.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Have a positive impact on the local environment.
  • Improve accessibility at attractions for visitors with disabilities.
  • Increase visitor numbers to the district.
  • Directly benefit more than one local business.
  • Repair or restore visitor attractions.
  • Support development via a feasibility study.

Overview of the scheme

Eligible businesses and festivals can apply for a 50% match-funded grant towards one of the following:

  • Cultural/Heritage Attractions - Up to £5,000

For Cultural/Heritage Attractions which need repair or restoration and/or towards a feasibility study for improving the visitor experience.

  • Attractions – Up to £2,500

Attractions and event venues can apply for a grant for projects which will help to improve accessibility for visitors with disabilities helping to ensure The Malverns is a visitor destination suitable for all. They can also apply for funding towards projects which help to improve the visitor experience and increase visitor numbers to the district.

  • Sustainable Tourism – Up to £2,500

The grant scheme will allow for more grants to be provided towards projects enabling tourism and hospitality businesses to improve their green credentials across the Malvern Hills district.

  • Festivals and Events - Up to £1,000

Town Centre festival organisers can apply for a grant to assist with festival development activities.

Criteria for eligibility

  • The Cultural/Heritage Attractions Scheme is open to local museums, visitor centres and theatres which attract visitors and can be demonstrated via visitor numbers.
  • The Attractions Scheme is open to tourism attractions where the grant will help to increase visitor numbers by improving the visitor experience, particularly for visitors with disabilities. Attractions need to be open at least nine months of the year and demonstrate they are a Visitor Attraction by providing visitor numbers.
  • The Sustainable Tourism Scheme is open to tourism businesses (Accommodation, Attractions and Hospitality/Eateries) located in the Malvern Hills district. Businesses must demonstrate that they are a visitor destination (visitor numbers, overnight stays etc.) and are open at least nine months of the year.
  • The Festivals and Events Scheme is open to Town Centre Festival and Event organisers to create new festivals or improve festival activities with the capability to increase visitor numbers to the Town Centres. Festival organisers need to show they have experience in delivering events and meet the full Public Liability Insurance as well as health and safety requirements.
  • The business(s) must have the ability to make a ‘cash’ match funding contribution of at least 50% towards the costs of the proposed project. The match funding must be used towards the cost of the works and must be from the business’s own resources.
  • We want to support projects which are unable to go ahead due to financial constraints within the business.
  • The applicant must provide proof of works before the grant is paid.
  • A mock-up of the proposed works should be provided (if applicable).
  • The applicant must have all the necessary permissions and licenses to operate the business (these include planning permission for change of use of premises and/or proposed building works, listed building consent, building regulations, advertising consent for signage, licencing as applicable/necessary for the business and proposed changes that are subject to the grant aided works) – checks may be carried out to confirm this and we will advise if further information is required.
  • The business must also hold public liability insurance. If the business does not have the necessary permissions and licences to operate or hold public liability insurance at the time of application, then these must be obtained before the grant is paid.
  • The applicant must give consent for Malvern Hills District Council to involve the business in publicity, e.g. press releases, case studies and photographs.
  • The applicant must agree to display evidence that acknowledges the source of funding received i.e. certificate, window sticker and website etc.
  • The applicant must agree to take part in any monitoring and produce relevant information as requested at 6 and 12 months after the grant is paid.
  • The applicant must not have any other outstanding debts payable to Malvern Hills District Council e.g. Business rates, Council Tax. Checks will be made.
  • Any equipment purchased must remain under the applicant’s ownership and cannot be sold.
  • The grant is not retrospective and therefore cannot be used for the reimbursement of goods/services already purchased before the date of the offer letter.
  • The applicant must hold a business bank account in the name of the business/festival (a ‘trading as’ account is acceptable). Applicants can apply for the grant before the business account is set up. However, the account must be set up before the grant is paid.
  • The grant payment will only be made on production of relevant receipted invoices and evidence of payments i.e. bank statement (it is recommended that the applicant requests a receipted invoice from the supplier on payment of the eligible goods/services).
  • Please note, to aid the administration of the scheme, the maximum number of invoices/receipts that can be submitted as part of the grant claim is 10.
  • Applicants must comply with subsidy control rules. This means that any support and grants received from a public organisation over the last 3 years must be declared on the application form. Businesses will not be eligible for the Tourism Scheme grant if the value of the support and grants exceed the Minimum Financial Assistance (MFA) threshold of £315,000 (this applies at company level).

What is not eligible?

  • Recurring revenue costs (including salaries, stock, rent, utility charges, subscriptions, licences, etc).
  • Advertising costs.
  • Repaying existing loans or debts.
  • The reimbursement of goods/services already purchased prior to the date of an offer letter.
  • Items subject to hire/lease agreements.
  • Activities that may bring Malvern Hills District Council into disrepute.
  • Initiatives promoting a political party.
  • Initiatives that conflict with existing council policies.
  • Professional fees are excluded from the scope of the scheme such as planning fees or consultants.

Amount of Grant and eligible expenditure

Businesses can apply for a grant if they meet any of the criteria outlined in ‘Criteria of Eligibility’ section and meet the one of the Scheme Aims in this Application Pack. The grant must be match-funded, pound for pound (at least), from the business’s own resources.

  • Up to £2,500 towards improving green credentials – Attractions, Accommodation and Eateries.
  • Up to £5,000 towards building repair/restoration/feasibility studies for Attractions located in historic buildings.
  • Up to £2,500 towards improving accessibility and/or the visitor experience at Attractions.
  • Up to £1,000 for Festival and Events.

Applications for the above require at least 50% match funding and a minimum of 2 quotes for each element.

Information required:

  • Statement of aims with details of:
    - Project Scope
    - Budget
    - Sources of Income
    - Measurable Outcomes
  • Before photo.
  • Design in keeping with the surrounding area.
  • At least two detailed, comparable quotes (inc. VAT)
  • Statutory permissions.
  • Landlord’s written consent where appropriate.
  • Planning consent where required.
  • Bank statements where required.
  • Green Tourism Business Plan where required.
  • Festival/Event Proposal where required.
  • Number of visitor numbers and overnight stays.

Availability of grant

  • All grants are made at the discretion of Malvern Hills District Council and are subject to availability of funding.
  • Grants will be limited to one per business and applications will be considered on a first come, first-served basis.

Assessing the application

Completed applications will be assessed to check eligibility and the extent to which they meet the aims of the scheme. If an application passes this initial screening, the grant application will then be considered by the Economic Development Team at Malvern Hills District Council who will decide to make one of three decisions:

  • Offer a grant.
  • Request further information from the applicant.
  • Reject the application.

Priority will be given to projects that enhance the area, are likely to attract business and where the improvement will be long lasting (e.g., 5 years and more).

Each application will be judged on its own merits regarding how well it meets the scheme’s aims, eligibility criteria and its ability to be implemented within the set timescales. Malvern Hills District Council will not enter a commitment until the formal grant offer has been accepted.

Please note the following:

  • Please be as concise as possible.
  • Any additional information can be provided via e-mail.
  • Your application will be checked and then determined by the decision-making body which is made up of chief officers and/or councillors (depending on the amount of grant applied for).
  • There is no right of appeal against the decision.
  • Retrospective grants will not be paid.
  • Projects should commence within 6 months and be completed within 12 months of the date of any grant offer letter.
  • Priority will be given to businesses who have not previously received grants from MHDC.

Decision on application

Notification of decision on the application will be made in writing to the applicant. An offer of grant will be made by an offer of grant letter, which will specify:

  1. i) The eligible applicant
    ii) The eligible expenditure
    iii) The maximum amount of grant awarded
    iv) The date by which the expenditure should be completed (receipted invoices should be received by Malvern Hills District Council within one month of this date)

The decision of Malvern Hills District Council is final. It reserves the right to vary the level of grant or reject an application.

The offer of grant

An offer of grant must be accepted within 21 days of receipt of the offer letter by returning a copy of the offer of grant letter signed by the applicant. After this date, the offer will be automatically withdrawn. The applicant will then have to re-apply if they still wish to proceed after this date.

The grant aided works

  1. The grant is not retrospective and therefore cannot be used for the reimbursement of goods/services already purchased before the date of the offer letter.
  2. No grant aided work is to be carried out other than in accordance with the agreed project outlined in the application and as agreed in the offer letter.
  3. Malvern Hills District Council must be notified immediately of any variations needed to the agreed offer and before any variation to the application takes place.
  4. Variations to the agreement must be approved in writing prior to such work commencing. Malvern Hills District Council reserves the right to refuse the grant for changes to the specification which it deems not appropriate for the scheme.
  5. Approved schemes must be completed by the date specified in the offer letter unless agreed otherwise by Malvern Hills District Council. The applicant must inform Malvern Hills District Council immediately if the deadline cannot be met. Malvern Hills District
  6. Council will then consider the most appropriate action but is under no obligation to alter the conditions in the original offer letter and therefore no obligation to offer assistance for works undertaken after the original deadline date.

Payment of grant

  1. Grants are discretionary, and Malvern Hills District Council reserves the right to withhold payment of the grant in whole or part if any condition of the offer letter has been breached.
  2. The applicant must inform Malvern Hills District Council upon completion of the works.
  3. The applicant must submit the claim (including receipted invoices) for grant assistance within one month of the completion date as stated in the offer letter.
  4. Payment will be subject to the applicant having satisfactorily completed the project and complied with all terms and conditions of the scheme.
  5. Payment of the grant will only be made when Malvern Hills District Council receives copies of paid invoices for the approved grant from the applicant. Invoices dated before the date of the offer letter will not be eligible for payment.
  6. The maximum number of invoices that can be submitted as part of the grant claim is 10.
  7. If the actual costs are less than those outlined in the application and agreed in the offer letter, payment will be restricted to the actual amount in accordance with the receipted invoices.
  8. If the costs of the proposed project exceed the maximum grant awarded as agreed in the offer letter, Malvern Hills District Council is not obliged to increase the grant amount. Increases to the grant payment will only be made in exceptional cases.
  9. Payment of the grant will be made into the applicant’s business bank account (or ‘trading as’ account) via BACS. 


Applicants who are VAT registered will have their grant assessed on the net cost of eligible projects; non-registered applicants on the gross cost. If the applicant does not know whether they are VAT registered or not they must seek advice from HM Revenue & Customs.


A check will be made to ascertain whether the applicant has any outstanding debts owed to Malvern Hills District Council, such as Business Rates or Council Tax. If it is found that such debts exist, Malvern Hills District Council reserves the right to withhold grant payment until such debts are cleared.

Malvern Hills District Council liability

Malvern Hills District Council, its officers and agents shall not at any time be held liable to any person in relation to any loss or damage arising, either directly or indirectly, because of compliance by the applicant with these terms and conditions of grant. Award of the grant does not imply that Malvern Hills District Council is expressing a view regarding the business or its products/services nor that it accepts responsibility for any debts, or liabilities incurred by the applicant or the business.

Repayment of grant

Malvern Hills District Council reserves the right to recover all or part of the grant it has provided if:

  • The applicant is found to have improperly tried to influence the decision of any officer or Elected Member of Malvern Hills District Council in the award of a grant.
  • The proposed business does not start trading (if a new business)
  • The business is sold or ceases to trade for whatever reason within a 12-month period from receipt of the grant.
  • The business relocates outside the boundaries of Malvern Hills District within a 12-month period from receipt of the grant.
  • Any information provided in the application form or other correspondence is found to be substantially incorrect, misleading, or incomplete.
  • The applicant fails to comply with any of the terms and conditions of this scheme.

Data Sharing

Malvern Hills District Council, in partnership with Worcestershire County Council and the other Worcestershire District Councils, use a shared Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database which helps us to monitor and record business enquiries including grant applications. It also helps us target services and products that you might be interested in such as grants, funding, and business support. The CRM database is shared with Worcestershire Business Central, Programme Partners and Programme Providers, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. It will also be shared with Liberata, Worcestershire County Council's financial operations partner. Data supplied in this application form will be held on the shared database in accordance with Data Protection legislation.

We will hold, process, and store your information in accordance with Data Protection Law.