Fáilte Ireland’s €26 million COVID-19 Adaptation Fund Opens for Applications

Grants available for tourism businesses to contribute to the costs of adapting premises or operations and implementing Fáilte Ireland’s Guidelines for Re-opening 

The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin T.D., has today (Tuesday 18th August) launched a new €26million COVID-19 Adaptation Fund to help tourism and hospitality businesses offset some of the costs incurred in adapting their premises or operations for re-opening. Costs including those for barriers and protective screens, the development of outdoor areas, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitiser will be covered1. The Fund is being administered by Fáilte Ireland and applications are now open until October 8th.

Minister Martin secured funding for the COVID-19 Adaptation Fund as part of the Government’s July Jobs Stimulus Package. 

The National Tourism Development Authority estimates that there are approximately 12,000 businesses that will be eligible to apply for funding, making it the largest fund in terms of the number of businesses, ever administered by Fáilte Ireland. 

Announcing the launch of the COVID-19 Adaptation Fund, Minister Martin said: 

“This investment of €26 million is another key action the Government has taken to support and sustain the tourism sector at this critical time. The Fund will help eligible businesses to offset some of the costs required in adapting premises and operations in line with Fáilte Ireland re-opening guidelines and applications are now open.”

As the National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland has been working with the tourism industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help businesses to navigate the crisis2. In-line with the Government’s Roadmap for the Reopening of Business and Society, Fáilte Ireland has taken a three-step approach to supporting tourism and hospitality businesses to re-open safely. 

Fáilte Ireland developed sector specific operational guidelines for re-opening to help businesses meet the Government's public health advice and keep their employees and customers safe. 

Fáilte Ireland then developed the COVID-19 Safety Charter as a Government backed initiative to reassure consumers that the tourism and hospitality businesses that they visit have committed to adhere to the correct safety measures and hygiene protocols set out in Fáilte Ireland’s Guidelines for Re-opening. 

The COVID-19 Adaptation Fund is the third step in Fáilte Ireland’s approach to re-opening to provide a financial contribution towards the costs incurred by tourism businesses as they implement Fáilte Ireland’s Guidelines for Re-opening. 

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland:

“We have taken this three-step approach to give tourism and hospitality businesses the guidance and support they need to re-open and reassure their customers that it is safe to visit their businesses. The tourism industry is at the core of our economy, supporting regional development and job creation in communities across the country. The €26m COVID-19 Adaptation Fund, available from today through Fáilte Ireland, provides financial support to help eligible businesses with the costs of adapting their premises or operations. Following an independent assessment of the potential costs of implementing Fáilte Ireland’s Guidelines for Re-opening, a sliding scale was developed to ensure a proportionate grant amount was allocated to different types of businesses. We estimate that 12,000 businesses will be eligible to apply making it the largest ever fund that we have administered to date. Our focus is on sustaining and supporting the tourism sector through this crisis.” Eligible businesses3 can apply for the COVID-19 Adaptation Fund from 18th August to the 8th October 2020.  

For more information on Fáilte Ireland’s COVID-19 Adaptation Fund, visit www.failteireland.ie/covid-19-adaptation-fund

Follow Failte Ireland on Twitter @Failte_Ireland and LinkedIn 

Types of grant available through the COVID-19 Adaptation Fund

Fáilte Ireland’s COVID-19 Adaptation Fund has been designed to help support tourism businesses, through grants of between €500 and €15,000, to make either the structural adaptations required for fixed, visitor-facing premises, or to cover the cost of COVID-19 related consumables (such as sanitiser or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)) for those businesses which provide a visitor experience but do not have significant visitor-facing premises.

Following an independent assessment of the potential costs of implementing Fáilte Ireland’s Guidelines for Re-opening, a sliding scale was developed to ensure a proportionate grant amount was allocated to different types of businesses.

Fáilte Ireland’s COVID-19 Response 

Fáilte Ireland, as the National Tourism Development Authority, responded to the COVID-19 crisis by immediately setting up a Business Supports Taskforce to establish the supports required by the industry to ensure the survival and successful relaunch of the sector. 

Fáilte Ireland’s immediate interventions were focused on business survival with support on a number of areas such as cashflow, liquidity, business closure and HR. Fáilte Ireland’s second phase of supports focus on recovery and include financial plans for recovery, capacity management, demand creation and marketing, as well as upskilling. 

These supports are hosted on a dedicated online COVID-19 Business Supports Hub on www.failteireland.ie and have been accessed by thousands of businesses across the country.

Alongside this suite of supports and in-line with the Government’s Roadmap for the Reopening of Business and Society, Fáilte Ireland has taken a three-step approach to supporting tourism businesses to re-open safely. This approach includes sector specific operational guidelines for re-opening, the COVID-19 Safety Charter and the COVID-19 Adaptation Fund. 

Eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 Adaptation Fund 

Businesses must be open at the time of application in order to be eligible for this Fund, in line with the Government’s Roadmap for Re-opening Society and Business. An exception will be made where a Government-mandated closure has been ordered for businesses that were already open. These businesses will be eligible to apply for re-opening costs incurred before the mandated closure. 

The following businesses are eligible to apply.  

Strand A: Businesses with Capital Costs for fixed premises used by visitors

Accommodation included on Fáilte Ireland’s Statutory Accommodation Register 2020 or Non-Statutory Accommodation Listing 2020

Pubs/bars with a Publican’s Licence (opening under the Government’s Roadmap for Re-opening Society and Business)

Restaurants or cafés with a Wine Retailer’s On-Licence or a Special Restaurant Licence

Visitor attractions/Adventure centres/Cruise hire companies/Tourism equestrian centres/Tourism golf clubhouses/Tourism wellness centres 

Strand B: Businesses without a (significant) visitor premises and/or no capital costs

Activity operators

Boat tour operators

Accommodation included on Fáilte Ireland’s Statutory Accommodation Register 2020 or Non-Statutory Accommodation Listing 2020 which did not incur capital adaptation costs under Strand A

 

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