Grant Bids Open For Four Events to Celebrate the Great Tees Valley Outdoors

Business & Invest | Published on: 5th December 2023

A fund for up to four exciting events and festivals which celebrate the best of the Tees Valley’s great outdoors has been launched.

Organisers are being urged to bid to the new Great Outdoors Challenge Fund which will reward a quartet of exciting events with backing to showcase the best of our region’s natural assets.

Up to £100,000 is up for grabs for events focussed on or around adventure, the natural environment, walking, or water.

Events should be – or have the potential to be – held every year. They should also be accessible, boost the number of visitors coming to the Tees Valley, increase overnight stays and increase how much money is spent here.

Those seeking the new grant should have a festival or event which also allows our own residents to seek out new experiences on their doorsteps.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool boast some of the best natural beauty spots anywhere – and it’s a crying shame so much of the rest of the country know so little about our hidden natural gems.

“But our people know how beautiful our countryside and parks are – and I’m pleased we’re going to give a string of top-quality events the money they need to show off the very best we have to offer.

“Events and festivals create memories to last a lifetime and weaving our river, waterways, countryside and coastline into these events makes total sense. We have world-beating attractions on our doorstep and I look forward to seeing the money go far.”

This challenge fund is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Designed to provide seed funding to establish regular or annual festivals or events, the hope is the four become sustainable without Combined Authority investment beyond 2026.

Expressions of Interest for the fund close on Friday, 5 January with successful applicants informed on 21 March, 2024.

For more information on submitting a bid, go to: The Great Outdoors Challenge Fund – Business (

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