More Swansea visitor accommodation businesses are benefitting from funding to improve their facilities.
As this year’s summer season progresses Swansea Council has revealed the businesses which benefitted from phase two of its Tourism Support Fund (TSF).
Schemes range from the installation of accessible wet rooms to the fitting of electrical vehicle charging points.
The funding – part of the council’s £25m post-pandemic economic recovery fund – was among a package of measures aimed at supporting the tourism sector.
Under this support package, small accommodation operators in rural areas were able apply for TSF grant funding of up to £8,000 to improve their offer. In the final round of the last programme, 15 businesses were supported.
Another round of funding is to open soon. This will be run by Swansea Council and funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF).
Council cabinet member and TSF panel member Robert Francis-Davies said:
“We’re continuing to support our tourism businesses as we build back strongly after the pandemic. The sector is crucial to our local economy so we’re eager to support.
“120 tourism businesses responded to our trade consultation last November and it was clear they still want support from the council in the form of grants, marketing and business advice – and this is exactly what we’re doing here.
“Summer’s crucial for our tourism businesses so it’s good to be able to announce the next set of grant opportunities now; they’re assisting some innovative thinking by tourism operators.
“We’re helping many tourism businesses to cover the costs of facilities that’ll improve their service. At the same time, we’re raising the quality and profile of Swansea Bay as a visitor destination.”
Among those to benefit from the previous round of funding were Felindre’s Panoramic Camping & Glamping which used its grant to acquire an accessible safari tent, complete with a disabled-access bathroom.
Campers can enjoy the tent’s picnic table, private decked area, fire pit, kitchen and utensils, four-hob gas cooker, a barbecue and hot shower room. It sleeps up to five.
Helen Price, of the business, said:
“We secured a TSF grant last year. It enabled us to purchase a safari tent which in turn allowed us to offer facilities for people with disability needs.
“This gave us a 15% increase in bookings with people who have these needs. this has, in turn, supported other local businesses.”
Port Eynon’s Newpark Holiday Park used its funding to install new accessible wet rooms in three chalets.
Lynda Newland, of the park, said:
“We’re grateful to have received this funding. It’s allowed us to reach out to a larger audience.
“Our guests with disabilities now have an accessible shower with seating. It means they can use our facilities with extra safety, comfort and convenience.”
In Bishopston, the New Gower Hotel invested in new bike sheds and washing facilities to cater for cycling market.
Mark Evans, of the hotel, said:
“We’re delighted to have received funding towards the installation of five secure cycle storage containers and a dedicated drying room.
“With the growing number of cycling-related events coming to Swansea Bay, we’ve seen an increased demand for cycle-friendly accommodation.
“Our aim is to attract seasoned athletes as well as couples and families seeking leisurely cycling adventures.”
Meanwhile, Parkmill Cottages used the funding to help buy and install two EV charging points for their guests.
Kerry Maisey, of the cottages, said:
“Net zero goals and sustainable tourism are really important to us, especially significant when living in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
“Being able to offer EV charging keeps our business relevant and also means less pollution and more climate-friendly travel in the area.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the grant support, especially in such challenging times for all small businesses.”
Armed with new SPF funding, the council plans to launch phase three of its TSF this summer. Opportunities to bid will be publicised by the council in due course.
Further council support for tourism includes free entry-level packages on the official destination website www.visitswanseabay.com for local tourism and hospitality businesses.