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Local distinctiveness and tourism

Hovingham Farmers' market by Chris J ParkerHovingham Farmers' market by Chris J Parker

Local distinctiveness and tourism grant scheme

The Local distinctiveness and tourism grant scheme is now closed to new application for this financial year. We are likely to be running the scheme again from 1 April 2020 and will provide updates on this later in the year. The guidelines for the 2019 scheme are shown below; these are likely to change in 2020 but will give a flavour of the support provided.

Grant scheme 2019/20

Are you a tourism business, or an industry group or organisation linked to the tourism sector? Do you have a great new idea that you’d love to do but need some financial help to do it?

The North York Moors National Park Authority is offering grants to tourism businesses, and voluntary and collaborative groups, to support projects which will raise the profile of the North York Moors area and promote its local distinctiveness.

Projects must contribute to all of the following priorities:

  • Increase awareness of the North York Moors National Park and/or the wider North York Moors area
  • Use the area’s local distinctiveness and special qualities for the benefit of visitors
  • Ensure that any increase in visitors is sustainable and that the project will be sustainable after the funding finishes.

We will NOT fund a one-off event or project; it must have a life beyond the funding period.

Project ideas

Here's a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Develop and launch new local products that use raw ingredients sourced from the North York Moors;
  • Install a wildlife hide for wildlife-watching experiences;
  • A new local produce market or festival e.g. food & drink, arts, heritage, outdoors;
  • A new annual challenge event in the shoulder season;
  • Collaborative marketing initiatives.
Facilities for cyclists

Our externally funded projects also include a focus on encouraging outdoor activities, particularly cycling. Therefore funding is available to accommodation providers, attractions, shops, cafés, pubs etc., to welcome such visitors e.g. installing drying facilities, secure bike lockers, bike stands, electric charge points for e-bikes. This excludes the purchase of standard bikes for hire but can include e-bikes where they will serve markets not currently catered for.

What are the criteria?

  • Projects must be within the North York Moors, Hills and Coast area (matching the geographic area of the previous LEADER Programme 2008-2013). If you are located outside the National Park boundary (but within the North York Moors, Hills and Coast), you must be able to demonstrate clear links to the North York Moors and show that your project will have a positive impact upon the National Park. Note funding is aimed at rural businesses - Scarborough town falls outside the North York Moors, Hills and Coast area and is NOT eligible.
  • Your project must meet all the priorities above
  • Your project must show clear value for money.
  • Priority will be given to collaborative projects and to those that have joined the North York Moors Tourism Network (free to participate).
  • Projects will be funded between 50% and 70%, with collaborations and the voluntary sector attracting higher awards.
  • Awards will not generally exceed £10,000 (higher grants may be considered for exceptional projects).
  • Your project must be completed by 1 March 2020. We will consider projects that require support over more than one year e.g. a new Festival that would benefit from a two-year funding package. In such a case, funding must be clearly split over the two financial years; underspend in Year 1 will not be allowed to be carried forward into Year 2.

The fund is available to support new or additional activity. Applications looking to upgrade existing accommodation will be ineligible. Those involving solely the creation of new accommodation are highly likely to be ineligible too.

Applications must only include activity which is considered 'new', i.e. working with new partners, targeting new markets, developing new products/packages, or new business start-ups. Existing groups/businesses must ensure their project demonstrates development or progression from previous activity undertaken. More information is available in the guidelines which can be downloaded below.

How do I apply?

Before you submit an application, please email or speak to us to discuss your eligibility ( While National Park Authority staff are unable to assist with completing the application form, the team can guide and support the development of your application where appropriate.

Download and complete the simple application form below. Applicants should also download and read the ‘Guidance for Applicants’ before completing the application form.

If your grant application includes VAT (i.e. you are not VAT registered) then please download and complete the VAT Declaration Form and submit this with your application.

Applications will be considered throughout the year. However, as the grant fund is limited, you are advised to submit your application as early as possible.

For further information about the grant, please contact Charlotte Handley at or 01439 772700. 

How do I claim my grant?

To claim your grant please complete the Claim Form and submit this to the National Park Authority, along with receipted invoices and any other supporting information required by 1 March 2020 at the latest. 

Any projects with a two-year funding agreement will need to submit their Year 1 claims by 1 March 2020, and their Year 2 claims by 1 March 2021. NB underspend in Year 1 cannot be carried forward into Year 2.

The Claim Form can be requested by e-mail to or by telephoning Charlotte Handley on 01439 772700.

Please post your completed Claim Form and supporting information to Charlotte at the Helmsley Office.

Information to download

Local Distinctiveness Tourism Grant Guidelines (pdf)

Local Distinctiveness Tourism Grant Application Form 

VAT Declaration Form (pdf)