The Great Outdoors Challenge Fund



TVCA has launched a new challenge fund to establish new or scale-up existing festivals / events that celebrate The Great Outdoors. Tees Valley is a remarkable region with a breathtaking and dramatic landscape. Through this challenge fund, we want to showcase Tees Valley’s landscape and natural assets, encouraging audiences and participants to actively engage with their surroundings. 

Please note the guidance was updated on 22.02.24 to reflect changes in eligible expenditure. Please see updated guidance document which reflects these changes.

TVCA will invest in up to four exciting festival or event products that are focussed on or around:  

This challenge fund will enable financial investment in up to four festivals / events of around £100,000 to enable activity to be delivered over a maximum period of 2 years (1st April 2024 – 31st March 2026).   

We will invest in festivals / events that have a lifespan beyond TVCA investment. Therefore, TVCA investment should act as a catalyst for the longer-term sustainability of the festival.  

TVCA will work with you to develop local partnerships.  

This challenge is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and is part of the Growth Programme for the Creative & Visitor Economies, delivered by the TVCA’s Creative Place team.


How to apply:  

There are two main stages to the application process: Expression of Interest (EOI) and Full Application: 

Expression of Interest (EOI) 

Stage 1: Submit an EOI. Please read all the guidance and supporting information to ensure your project is eligible and meets the objectives and priorities of The Great Outdoors Challenge Fund. We advise submitting your EOI at your earliest convenience so that if you are invited to full application stage, you have more time to prepare your full application. 

Stage 2: Your EOI will be assessed. If EOI is successful, you will be invited to attend a Visioning Workshop.   

Stage 3: Attend Visioning Workshop to develop your vision and identify delivery partners. 

Full Application 

Stage 4: If your vision for the festival / event is demonstrably consistent with TVCA’s ambition and approach for the visitor economy, you will be invited to submit a detailed application and budget & delivery plan.

Key dates: 
Other helpful documents 

EOI Offline Template: You can use this EOI template to prepare your information before submitting using the online form. We recommend saving a draft copy in case there are any problems submitting the online form.  

Application Form Template: This is a draft copy of the full application form to give applicants an idea of what they need to prepare if they are invited to full application stage. Please note that TVCA will send a fillable copy of the application form to these applicants.

Budget and Delivery Plan: This is a draft copy of the budget and delivery plan that should be completed at full application stage.  

TVCA’s Destination Management Plan (DMP) and Baseline Executive Summary: The DMP and Baseline sets out the strategic objectives for enhancing the Tees Valley as a visitor destination, informed by robust baseline data and information.  

TVCA Growth Programme for the Creative and Visitor Economies Executive Summary of our Baseline Research: The Baseline report has informed our approach in developing this fund. 

About TVCA and the Growth Programme Objectives: Find out why we do what we do and the approach we take to working with businesses and organisations we invest in. 

Festival and Events Investment Framework: Funding for this challenge fund is through the Festivals & Events Investment Framework of the Growth Programme. This framework sets out our approach to making investments in festivals and events.  

Submit your EOI 

Submit your EOI using the online application form. You can save and return to the online application form. However, we advise preparing your application using the offline version of the application form, which you can download above.  

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Creative Place team: [email protected] 

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