The organisers of much-loved visitor events across Cumbria have the chance to receive a cash boost, thanks to the ongoing success of the county’s longest-running trade show.
The Lakes Hospitality Trade Show 2024 will be awarding marketing grants of up to £2,500 to a series of local event organisers, as part of its commitment to re-directing the proceeds of the annual show back into the local economy.
This year marks the return of the popular scheme for the first time since before the pandemic, with the non-profit Windermere Food Farm being the first to benefit from a small grant of £1,000 earlier this summer.
Previous event recipients in 2018 and 2019 included: Kendal Torchlight Carnival, Hawkshead Christmas Market, Barrow Soapbox challenge, Bowness Blues Festival and Windermere Christmas Celebration.
To qualify for the 2024 funding, applicants must be planning an event between March 2024 and February 2025 somewhere in Cumbria. As part of the application process, they will be asked to complete a short form demonstrating how the event will achieve significant visitor impact for the area and benefit the wider Cumbrian economy.
The successful applicants will be announced early in the New Year. Each will benefit from a cash gift from the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show to promote their event through the marketing channels of Cumbria Tourism, the county’s official Destination Management Organisation.
The bespoke marketing packages will include a press release alongside selected marketing activity delivered by the Cumbria Tourism team, such as: videography and content creation, branded e-newsletters, ad spots or social media promotion.
James Tasker, a Director of the Lakes Hospitality Association, says, “One of the underlying principles of the Lakes Hospitality Show is about ploughing money back into the sector, so we can help give hospitality businesses and supply chain companies the practical support they need to thrive in competitive times – against a challenging backdrop of ever-rising costs for everyone.
“It may be that this marketing support helps a new or unique event make its mark in the county’s events calendar, perhaps attracting visitors out of the main holiday season. Or it could be a more established event which needs a helping hand promoting itself to new audiences and getting to the next level. We want to hear from a range of event organisers throughout Cumbria, who can demonstrate how additional funding will help support local jobs and communities.”
The application process for grants is now live, with a deadline of Friday 24 November 2023.
The news comes as plans for the 47th Lakes Hospitality Trade Show on 28 and 29 February 2024 are well underway, with around 150 exhibitors and 1,700 delegates expected to attend. 70% of trade stands have already sold out, with early bird bookings still open until 30 September.