Thousands of pounds are up for grabs to help fund the promotion of Cumbrian events for the first time.

The Lakes Hospitality Association has opened up its £15,000 fund for anyone to apply.

Grants of up to £2,500 are available to help with PR and sales and marketing, working with Cumbria Tourism.

Funds are raised by the annual Lakes Hospitality Trade Show, which celebrates its 45th anniversary next year.

To help boost all year-round tourism, the association is looking for events taking place outside the main tourist season.

Previous funding beneficiaries include Bowness Bay Blues Festival, Kendal Torchlight Carnival, Windermere and Hawkshead Christmas Markets and the Barrow Super Soapbox Challenge.

James Tasker, association director, said: “The Lakes Hospitality Trade Show is unique – not only for being the only show of its kind in the area, but as profits are redirected back into projects and events that will directly benefit local economies.

“While the trade show itself is just a two-day event, its effects are more far-reaching than for just that time period and for individuals who work in our industry. The whole Cumbrian community feels the benefits of the trade show all year round, thanks to large chunks of funding being raised for some of the county’s best-loved events.

"A highlight of the summer was in Barrow, where 14,000 people enjoyed the Super Soapbox Challenge.

“We’re really excited to see our grants scheme grow from strength to strength as we work hand-in-hand with both local businesses and communities to help Cumbria grow and prosper during what we all know are increasingly competitive and uncertain times.”

Events must take place between September 2020 and August 2021. They can be new or established events but must take place outside of the main tourist seasons, such as the school summer holidays.

The closing date is January 31.

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