Half million pound contract awarded to help hundreds of small leisure and tourism businesses in Warwickshire bounce back from Covid

The tourism, leisure and hospitality industry was among the hardest hit sectors when the country went into lockdown in 2020

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Small businesses in Warwickshire across the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors will get extra help to bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to a £557,000 contract awarded to Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

The contract, awarded by Warwickshire County Council with £320,000 of its own money combined with a further £230,000 of European Regional Development Fund cash, will enable the Chamber to implement a wide range of support through to April 2024 to boost the sector and help small businesses take advantage of a potential rise in home vacations.

Project Warwickshire will provide a package of help across the sector, including one to one advice, networking and a range of masterclasses.

The project will support businesses to seek and access grants and funding, as well as co-ordinating a series of networking events and webinars to share good practice and links.

The tourism, leisure and hospitality industry was among the hardest hit sectors when the country went into lockdown in 2020.

Tourism previously translated into significant economic value for the local economy, with data gathered and presented by Economic Modelling Specialist International (EMSI) showing that Warwickshire’s tourism sector contributed £858 million towards local GVA - approximating to almost seven per cent of the county’s total economic value.

EMSI has also shown that Warwickshire’s tourism sector employed 22,123 people as of 2019, equating to eight per cent of Warwickshire’s total workforce.

In all, Project Warwickshire will look to engage 300 businesses across Warwickshire in the sectors, supporting 1,200 jobs, safeguarding 100 and creating a further 50.

Keely Hancox, operations manager for the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be working with Warwickshire County Council and our partners to deliver a comprehensive package of support for our Tourism, Hospitality and leisure businesses across Warwickshire.

"Our advisors are able to offer practical advice, technical support and that all important sounding board for Business owners within this sector.

"The aim to support businesses in their recovery, enabling them grow and thrive post pandemic.”

For further information, email the Chamber on [email protected] or call 02476 654321.