Innovation Fund

19 June 2009

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is inviting applications, on an open call basis, for the Tourism Innovation Fund (TIF). The Tourism Innovation Fund will provide financial assistance for revenue projects such as creative interpretation initiatives and innovative presentation and showcasing of Northern Ireland’s tourism offerings.  The Fund aims to enhance the growth, quality, competitiveness and sustainability of tourism in Northern Ireland by stimulating product development and improving the visitor experience.

The three main themes for eligible project categories are:-

• Visitor Servicing Initiatives

Aim:  To present unique, individual and compelling experiences for visitors to Northern Ireland

• Product Planning and Development

Aim: To identify the potential for innovative projects

• Accreditation Schemes

Aim: To raise and improve quality standards

Background of the Fund & Levels of assistance

Financial assistance will be provided through the European Sustainable Competiveness Programme for Northern Ireland 2007-2013.  The scheme will be administered by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and delivered under the Tourism Development Scheme guidelines.  Financial assistance will not normally exceed 75% of financial assistance of eligible project costs for the public and voluntary community sectors and up to 50% for the private sector.  Minimum grant levels will be £20,000 and up to a maximum of £150,000.  Successful projects must be completed and grant expenditure submitted by 31st March 2010.

Operational Guidelines, Criteria and Application Form

Applicants should download the pdf version of ‘Enhancing the Visitor Experience’ which provides full details of the Tourism Innovation Fund guidelines and criteria.  These guidelines will include instructions on how to download and complete the online application form. 

All applications should be submitted online only, with the exception of an original signed declaration which must be printed and submitted as a hard copy to verify the application.  This should be submitted to the TIF Applications Office at the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. The closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm on Friday 14th August 2009.  This is strictly non-negotiable.  Any application received after this time will not be considered for assistance.

Projects selected for assistance must be in line with NITB’s corporate priorities as detailed in the NITB Corporate Plan 2008-2011.

Download pdf of the Draft Corporate Plan 2008-2011 for details

Applicants should be aware that there is no automatic entitlement to financial assistance under the Tourism Innovation Fund.  It is at the discretion of the Board to provide selective financial assistance to any project, which, in the opinion of the Board, will increase tourism activity to and within Northern Ireland and the revenue derived there from.

TIF Applications Office contacts:                                             

Helen Hamilton, Innovation Fund Administrative Officer, Tel: 028 9041684           

Hilary Gibson,Innovation Fund Officer, Tel: 028 90 441557

Colette Reynolds, Tourism Innovation Fund Manager, Tel: 028 90 441501

Email: tifapplications@nitb.comT

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