GREAT UK Challenge Fund open for bids
1 April 2015

This week, Government has announced a new GREAT UK Challenge Fund.

Operating as part of the overall GREAT Campaign, the Fund will be administered by the national tourist board for England, VisitEngland, and open to eligible organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Funding decisions will be made by a Programme Board comprising of The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, British Council, UK Trade & Investment, VisitBritain, the Devolved Administrations and No10.

The Fund In brief:

In line with the GREAT Campaign, The UK GREAT Challenge Fund covers three key areas:

  • Education
  • Tourism
  • Trade & Investment

This is a new Fund that has been established to provide seed-funding for projects that enable city, metropolitan, regional and national organisations and also sector associations operating in partnership to exploit market opportunities overseas. The focus of the GREAT UK Challenge Fund is to capitalise on opportunities in overseas markets, with up to £2m being made available to support the fund in 2015/16.

The GREAT Campaign aims to deliver significant and long-term increases in education, inward investment, trade and tourism to the United Kingdom. This Fund will support new and innovative project ideas that use GREAT to deliver across any/all of the themes and generate economic benefit at a local, regional or national level.

Who can apply:

The GREAT UK Challenge Fund is open to eligible education, tourism, and trade and investment organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Cultural and sporting organisations and private sector companies can also be included in bids. 

The Programme Board will be looking for project ideas which are creative, exciting and innovative from organisations involved in the education, tourism, and trade and investment sectors in order to promote the UK offer overseas.

In general, the Programme Board is encouraging two broad types of bids:

  • Partnership bids - e.g. multiple organisations in the same destination, region or nation with interests across the campaign strands coming together to promote the overall offer of the destination in a selected overseas market(s).
  • Consortium bids - e.g. multiple universities coming together to promote increased applications from foreign students interested in a specific sector, and/or targeting a specific overseas market.


The application process has two separate stages, Expression of Interest and Full Application. Feedback will be given to applicants after the Expression of Interest Stage to assist with the development of the Full Application. The call for projects is now open and prospective bidders should comply with the following deadlines for submission of Expressions of Interest to the Programme Board:

1st call for Expressions of Interest - Friday 17 April 2015

2nd call for Expressions of Interest - Friday 15 May 2015

3rd call for Expressions of Interest - Friday 12 June 2015 

Application process and further information:

For further information on how to apply and to access the downloadable guidelines for applicants and the application form visit Prospective applicants are advised to apply early in order to maximise the chance of success. Bids can be submitted to

If you have any questions or would like to discuss potential project ideas please send an email to the above address in the first instance to book a telephone appointment.

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