Government scraps tradeshow support scheme
The Department for International Trade has withdrawn its Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP), which provided support for British exporters and was used extensively by the fashion and textile industry.
TAP provided grants of between £500 and £2500 for eligible businesses towards the costs of exhibiting at overseas trade shows. The UKFT reports that for the 2018-2019 period, 468 UK fashion and textile companies received grants totalling £568,350 via the TAP scheme.
The move to end the scheme has been widely criticised by fashion businesses and organisations, including the UKFT.
Commenting on the news, Adam Mansell, CEO at UKFT, said: 'During the pandemic and the approach to Brexit, we were baffled to see that the UK was the only European country not to increase its support for export businesses. Support was effectively mothballed for 14 months while the Treasury reviewed the TAP scheme. The decision to cancel TAP without having a viable alternative is catastrophic as we start to come out of the pandemic. It makes little sense when compared to the government’s declared ambitions for “Global Britain” and “levelling up".'
He continued: 'UKFT and its members are committed to working with government to get the best deal for our exporters, especially in the UK’s new trade agreement markets such as the EU and Japan We recognise that budgets are incredibly tough and we are here to help on the ground but for this to happen government needs to listen to and support this vital industry.'
Graham Stuart, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for International Trade, has said that the DIT will provide details about a revised trade show support programme when the department concludes its discussions with the Treasury.