Page last updated at 06:52 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Funds available to put tourism firms on map

Thousands of pounds could be pocketed by tourism business

Tourism businesses in the north east of Scotland are being urged to help put themselves on the map by using an untapped funding package.

VisitScotland's Growth Fund has awarded more than £670,000 but no applications have been made in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire.

The national tourism body said awards range from just over £3,000 to a maximum of £65,000.

It was launched in 2008 and is part-funded by the European Union.

The fund is open to national, regional and local groups of tourism businesses, and is intended to help them reach new markets and increase visitor numbers.

Rita Stephen
We would urge businesses to apply for the funding
Rita Stephen
Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future

VisitScotland regional director Ken Massie said: "Aberdeen City and Shire are very much under-represented.

"This area boasts a fantastic tourism product and great potential for cross-selling and partnership working between businesses - which is exactly what the Growth Fund is all about - and I strongly encourage businesses throughout the region to apply."

Emma Wilson, VisitScotland's Growth Fund advisor for the North of Scotland, said: "The fund offers significant sums of money.

"My role is to help groups develop their marketing ideas and funding application, and provide general guidance throughout the lifetime of their project."

Rita Stephen, development manager for Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (Acsef), added: "This fund will enable these businesses to get the support they need to work in partnership and further enhance the tourism product in this area.

"We would urge businesses to apply for the funding."

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