Funding tourism and leisure businesses

Sustainable tourism is on the rise as more and more businesses turn their attention to environmental issues. In a bid to operate more sustainably, businesses within this sector are looking for improvements they can make to their daily operations to decrease their impact on the planet.

Finding funding for tourism and leisure businesses can be a challenge in general, however, this becomes particularly more challenging in these instances. That’s because obtaining this type of funding can be difficult as it’s often not funded through conventional means.

Culture, Leisure, and Tourism Fund (CLTF)

East Devon District Council have just announced that their Culture, Leisure, and Tourism Fund (CLTF) is open for applications. The fund is being supported by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the Levelling Up initiative.

The fund allows organisations from the Community, Voluntary and Social Enterprise (CVSE) and businesses within the tourist sector to apply. The fund will help to deliver projects supporting decarbonisation. It will also help to support tourist businesses that need to make improvements to their accessibility.

There are two pathways that applicants can choose to go down to receive the funding.

Pathway One: Rural Culture and Leisure (RCL) Pathway

The Rural Culture and Leisure (RCL) Pathway is for Community, Voluntary and Social Enterprise (CVSE) organisations that have a strong focus on culture in rural areas of East Devon (excluding Exmouth) or businesses in the tourist sector. These organisations need to be looking for funding to purchase equipment that will allow them to better decarbonise their operations. Equipment that is deemed eligible are things like solar panels, small wind turbines, EV charging points and LED lighting to name a few.

The minimum amount that an organisation can receive funding for is £2,500 up to a maximum of £20,000 for CVSE sector organisations and £5,000 for businesses. There is also a match funding requirement of 10%.

Pathway Two: Sustainable Tourism Pathway

Any business can apply for the CLTF funding under this pathway. However, the business must be looking to purchase and install equipment to decarbonise their operations or improve the accessibility of their business to meet the needs of customers and visitors with disabilities.

This includes the hospitality sector such as hotels, B&Bs, holiday parks, bars, restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs. Tourist attractions and amusements, as well as transportation operators and tour operators also qualify.

The type of equipment being installed to improve sustainability is the same as pathway one. The accessibility equipment includes things like hearing loops, stair lifts, ramps, and accessibility signage.

The minimum amount an organisation can receive funding for is £2,500 up to a maximum of £5,000 with a match funding requirement of 50%.


In order to be eligible to receive the CLTF funding, applicants must have a specific decarbonisation project or accessibility improvement project laid out. They must be primarily in operation within East Devon and have a strong focus on culture, tourism, or leisure.

The deadline to apply is the 21st July 2023, more information can be found here.

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