DIT launches Tradeshow Access Programme replacement with exhibitor grants open for applications

Tue 30 Nov 2021
Posted by: Jo Welling
Trade News

Department for International Trade

The government has opened a new programme to support SMEs to explore exporting opportunities at overseas trade shows.

Companies will receive training to help them get the most out of exhibiting and may be able to access grants of between £2-4,000 to help with costs through the new UK Tradeshow Programme.

Applications for support to exhibit at overseas trade shows are open now and applications for support for just attending overseas these exhibitions open in January 2022, according to new DIT guidance.

SME focus

The programme targets companies of up to 250 employees with a turnover of between £250,000 and £5m that are looking to export for the first time or grow existing export markets.

Assistance is for specific supported events for the 2021-22 period, including the Word Defence Show 2022, Paris Fashion Week – Womenswear 2022, Asia Pacific Maritime 2022, and MICAM 2022.

The new programme is part of the government’s 12-point strategy to increase exports to £1 trillion by 2030, as promoted by its ‘Made in the UK, Sold to The World’ campaign..

New approach

The UK Tradeshow Programme replaces the previous Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) which ended this summer, amid criticism from sectors including fashion and maritime, according to the Times.

At the time, the government promised the replacement would be more targeted than the 30-year-old TAP scheme, which it felt was too focused on London and the South East.

SME support

The Federation of Small Businesses welcomed the scheme, with national chair Mike Cherry calling it “an important step for small firms, who rely on such fairs for taking their products and services overseas”.

UK Fashion and Textiles Association (UKFT) director of international business, Paul Alger, told Drapers it would work closely with the government to ensure that “the aspirations set out in the government’s export strategy are matched with real policies to make the intentions a reality”.