24/11/2020 Latest Update & Support from VisitWiltshire (see more)

 New Grants Available
Updated Guidance 
2021 Publications
Keep Us Up To Date
What’s Open Pages 
Bradford on Avon Points West
PR Update
COVID Business Support Event
Latest Travel Trade Update

 Trade Coverage 
Support Wiltshire Museum
Peer to Peer Networking
Changes to Bounce Back Loans
Queens Platinum Jubilee 
VisitEngland Webinars
Industry Research 
 Great West Way 
Stay Up To Date 
New Grants Available

Since the latest national lockdown was announced a number of grants of now become available for businesses to apply for;

Local Restrictions Support Grant
This new scheme is aimed at those businesses required to close due to the national restrictions which started on 5 November 2020. One-off grants will be awarded to eligible businesses to support them during the four-week closure and help them with the ongoing challenges presented by coronavirus. This grant is available to businesses who pay business rates and the amount they get is determined by their rateable value. You can check your eligibility and apply with Wiltshire Council  HERE

For our partners who fall under Swindon Borough Council you can check your eligibility and apply for both of the above grants HERE

Additional Restrictions Grant
This discretionary grant scheme will support those businesses required to close or have been severely affected by the national restrictions, but which do not pay business rates. Check if you are eligible HERE. Wiltshire Council are currently developing this scheme and will publish details in due course, which we will keep you updated on.

For our partners who fall under Swindon Borough Council you can check your eligibility and apply for both of the above grants HERE

The online tool for finding out what support is available for your businesses has been updated to reflect recent changes and can be found HERE. 

As always, VisitWiltshire is here to help. if you have any issues, or questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will endeavor to help to the best of our ability. If there is anything you would like us to pass on also let us know as we are regularly feeding back to VisitBritain, TIER and DCMS, as well as Wiltshire Council. You can keep up to date via our Partner Advice page and these regular newsletters.


Updated Guidance for Restaurants, Bars, Cafés and Pubs

The Primary Government Guidance for Working Safely During Coronavirus has been updated for restaurant, bar, café and pub operators to reflect recent changes in Government rules for these businesses. You can read more HERE. All sector guidance is being regularly updated so if you’re not sure what the latest is for your sector let us know. A great way to find out more about industry guidance is to attend our COVID Business Support Event on Thursday 26 November, more details HERE.

2021 Publications

Work has started on our 2021 digital Wiltshire publications. We will be including new digital content including virtual tours, videos and reassurance messaging for visitors, please contact Fiona if you have any relevant  digital content that we can include. If you placed an advert last year Billy will be in touch with details for this year. If you didn’t place an advert last year but would like to place an advert this year please contact Billy.  
Calling all attraction and town partners – submit your 2021 events

2020 has been a challenging year for running any type of event. We are hopeful that this will change for 2021 and are looking to include an events section in our publications, if you are an attraction or town partner you are invited to submit up to 6 events (virtual or actual events) for possible inclusion within our 2021 digital publications. Ideally, we would like both the name of the event and the exact 2021 date(s) but failing that please send Billy the name of the event and the month in which it takes place.


Keep Us Up to Date 

During the second lockdown we are once again promoting our Virtual Trip to Wiltshire page. If you have any suitable content, or are going to be hosting any virtual events please send them to Billy or Helen.

Tell us about your upcoming events! Especially if you have anything coming up for Christmas and New Year. Whether these events are digital or in person, you can add your upcoming events for free by filling out our simple website event form. We will also select events from here to promote in our monthly blogs and on social media.

We will be working hard to update the content on our website to reflect the latest restrictions and messaging, and once again start encouraging visitors to the site to plan a future trip to Wiltshire in the new year. We will also focus on promoting activities and content that are still allowed, such as Walking and Cycling.

If you would like to feature in a VisitWiltshire blog or contribute a guest blog, please get in touch with Helen to discuss possible topics and themes.

As always, please let Helen know if you have any messaging you would like us to promote on the VisitWiltshire social media channels. This could be news, offers or just fresh imagery you want to share! We are also looking for your events and upcoming for 2021, if you have anything suitable please send to Helen and Holly.


VisitWiltshire ‘What’s Open’ Pages

We have set up a number of new pages to reflect the latest restrictions and climate, and to showcase our partners who are still operating during this lockdown. You can see the pages here;

What’s Open in Wiltshire: Gardens and Open Spaces
What’s Open in Wiltshire: Food and Drink Takeaways
What’s Open in Wiltshire: Online & Local Christmas Shopping

If you have anything that you feel would fit any of these pages please send the details to Billy or Helen and we can add it to the relevant page and promote through the website, blogs and social media.

PR Update 

VisitWiltshire continues to work hard to achieve local, national and international coverage. You can view coverage achieved this month HERE. This month, we have contributed to the magazine, Wiltshire Life, and written a feature about Walking in Wiltshire. We continue to liaise with media about future PR opportunities and press trips.

If you require any additional help or support with PR, please contact Holly who will be happy to help.

You can see all our press releases HERE. 

VisitWiltshire COVID Business Support Event 

VisitWiltshire is holding a virtual COVID Business Support Event via Zoom from 2pm on Thursday 26 November. There will be a panel of experts providing guidance and details of the different types of support available for businesses during this difficult time. Representatives from Business WestSwindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub, Wiltshire Council and VisitEngland will be in attendance outlining in detail what help and support is available to businesses during the COVID crisis. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have to the panel.

If you are interested in joining the event please contact Tristan and he will send you the link to join.

 Travel Trade Update

Global European Marketplace (GEM)
We attended a virtual Global European Marketplace (GEM) event on 30 October, where we met with 36 travel trade buyers selling Wiltshire and Great West Way. Buyers are really interested in new Wiltshire tours and experiences and FIT hotel rates for 2021. Please get in touch if you have any trade product you would like us to promote.

UKinbound Destination Update and Virtual Fam Visit
On Thursday, 19 November Visitwiltshire hosted the largest ever Destination Update and Virtual fam visit’ visit with 34 international and domestic travel trade buyers.  The event was run in partnership with UKInbound, supported by Lorna Matthews Keel from Salisbury Chequered History GuidesLongleat and Salisbury Cathedral.  The Wiltshire presentation is available here.


Trade PR Coverage 

VisitWiltshire has recently featured in an addition of Group Leisure Travel magazine, showcasing our recent award of Best UK Destination at the Group Travel Awards. You can see the piece HERE. 

Peer to Peer Networking 

Swindon & Wiltshire LEP Growth Hub has set a up a peer-to-peer networking programme for SMEs, which they are hoping will  provide a great opportunity for businesses to learn from each other, get great support, hints and tips on dealing with the challenges faced. There will be a total of 10 Peer Networks set up, one of which will be tourism. The aim is that these groups will meet to discuss strategic and operational challenges, across HR, change management, innovation, succession, planning and much more, while working together to find practical solutions.

You can find out more and register HERE. 


Changes to Bounce Back Loans

The Guidance on Bounce back Loans has been updated to people to top up existing loans, extend the loan period, make interest-only repayments, or pause repayments. You can read more HERE. 


Queens Platinum Jubilee

The Government has announced that to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, the late May Bank Holiday will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an additional Bank Holiday created on Friday 3 June to create a four-day weekend.


VisitEngland Business Support Webinars 

VisitEngland are holding a couple of webinars in the coming weeks to offer support to any businesses who may need it;
Micro-businesses – Building towards recovery
‘We’re Good to Go’ – what we’ve learnt and what’s next


Industry Research

The latest Consumer Sentiment Tracker from VisitBritain is available

A recent report from Trajectory analyses what pandemic-enforced changes of habit will mean for our values, attitudes and behaviours in both the short and longer term future. Throughout the year they have been measuring and monitoring changing consumer attitudes to the pandemic. You can download the full report for free HERE. 

The latest wave of ONS research on the impact of COVID-19 on UK businesses, which was conducted prior to the second national lockdown, is now available and contains a lot of tourism specific findings. You can see the research HERE. 



Great West Way in the House of Commons

This week the Member of Parliament for Devizes Danny Kruger raised the topic of Tourism Zones in the House of Commons and made a case for the Great West Way to be one of the first. During his speech and the reply from Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Wiltshire and its many historical landmarks like Avebury and Stonehenge were mentioned and spoken of very highly.

You can see a video of the exchange HERE. 


2020/2021 Marketing Plan 

Prior to the latest announcement, we were working closely with the VisitEngland marketing team and Trip Advisor developing content for the Escape the Every Day domestic campaign. Due to the lockdown the activity is currently halted but as and when government restrictions change this will be reviewed. Wiltshire is featured heavily in all Great West Way marketing

Also in light of the lockdown we have amended our content accordingly and refer to planning a Winter holiday on the Great West Way.

You can view our up to date marketing plan here.


International Travel Trade Distribution for 2021/2022 programmes

Great West Way has recently been distributed via a number of VisitBritain international offices including Australia, USA, Italy and Scandinavia. The Italian travel trade newsletter was issued on 3 November to 1,544 Italian subscribers and includes a link to the new Great West Way Travel Magazine and new Trade Itineraries. You can see this here. This current trade activity is aimed at Tour Operators who are now in their planning stages for 2021/22 and beyond.



There is a COVID-19 advice page on the VisitWiltshire website for businesses. The page details the latest government guidance, information from travel authorities and some useful resources. We are regularly updating this page with the latest information.

VisitWiltshire Advice Page 

The page also includes the latest research carried out by VisitEngland/VisitBritain and the details of the various grants, loans and support for businesses being provided by the government. You can also follow us on our @VisitWiltsBiz account for more updates.

If you are still unclear on what support you are entitled to, please don’t hesitate to contact Billy and he will ensure it reaches the relevant channels.