ANDBC Experience Development Programme April 2024 - March 2025

The Ards and North Down Borough Council (ANDBC) Experience Development Programme is aimed at providing an opportunity for local tourism providers to “pilot” visitor experiences within the borough, whilst reducing the risk to businesses by ANDBC paying for the delivery of one pilot experience and inclusion of the experience in its promotional programme.  Payment is dependent on minimum numbers of tickets being sold for the experience, determined by ANDBC.  Where numbers are close to the minimum required, further discussion may be had between the Council and the applicant. 

The programme aims to increase the visitor offering within Ards and North Down, visitor numbers and economic spend.  The programme allows businesses to test ‘experience’ ideas with the aim of long-term inclusion of successful pilots within businesses’ product/experience portfolio. 

Applications must be submitted by Sunday 12 November at 6pm.   

EOI Experience Programme 2024 - Ards and North Down Borough Council - Citizen Space [Will open Thursday 26 October 2023]


Programme Criteria 

Your experience must: 

  • Be delivered within Ards and North Down. In the case of over subscription preference will be given to businesses based in ANDBC. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to attract visitors from outside the borough. 
  • Be a new idea not previously piloted with ANDBC as part of its Experience programme. 
  • Where a business has been supported previously via this programme, the applicant must clearly show that the experience is completely new/different to what has been piloted previously. 
  • The experience must run between April 2024 and March 2025. 

In addition, you must provide the complete required detail regarding operation, marketing, and costs in your Expression of Interest (EOI).  Failure to do so will result in the application not being considered. 

Documents required from applicant. 

  • It is an essential requirement that the applicant provides a risk assessment to the Council by the required deadline.  Failure to do so will result in the experience being cancelled. 
  • A copy of the applicant’s public liability insurance must be received by the deadline.  Failure to do so will result in the experience being cancelled. 
  • If an experience includes food a dink, applicants must provide a valid copy of their Food Hygiene Certificate by the agreed deadline.  Failure to do so will result in the experience being cancelled. 
  • If the experience is to take place on any council land, an application to ANDBC must be made. Council can advise but the application process is the responsibility of the applicant. This link provides detail on the application process. Council land and property | Ards and North Down Borough Council 

Cancellation Policy 

All experiences accepted onto the programme must adhere to the following cancellation policy.  

  • The experience may be cancelled by ANDBC if there is failure by the applicant to provide documents by set deadlines as detailed above. 

The experience may be cancelled with the agreement of both parties for the following reasons: 

  • Weather – if the forecast means that running the experience would be dangerous to the operator or customer. 
  • Ticket sales have not met the agreed minimum number pre-agreed at time of application. As above if ticket numbers are close to the minimum requirement a further conversation may be had. 
  • Once a date is agreed by the business and ANDBC, experiences cannot be cancelled or rearranged to suit other business needs.  
  • Unforeseen circumstances may be taken into consideration on a case by case basis, which must be agreed with ANDBC. 


All experience providers must provide an accompanying Marketing Plan detailing how they will promote the experience submitted as part of the programme. This should include, but not be limited to, detailing online activity (e.g. website and social media), alongside any additional platforms such as print advertising and PR.  This should be set out in a clear timeline leading to the agreed date of pilot. 

Please note: ANDBC will provide marketing support through promotion of the programme via the Council’s promotional channels and PR.   

It will be a requirement for each applicant to assist Council to capture market research from participants.  This will be discussed with successful applicants. 

ANDBC will promote the 2024/25 programme and will provide an overview of the timeline. We ask that your promotion of your event is aligned to run after this launch date in order to maximize the impact of the promotion. 

Terms and Conditions 

  • The agreed date must be adhered to with the exception of cancellation terms for the above listed reasons. Whilst not guaranteed it may be possible to reschedule cancelled activity. 
  • Ticket prices, costs and minimum numbers will be agreed with Tourism Officers prior to launching the experience.  Once these are agreed they cannot be changed. These costs should be a realistic reflection of future running costs to operate the experience as an ongoing product. 
  • Once a ticket price is agreed a business should not run or promote the same experience for a cheaper price until the pilot is complete.  After the pilot has operated the business can re-evaluate the costs/ticket price. 
  • A cancellation period will be agreed by both parties suitable to respective business needs prior to delivering the pilot. 
  • Businesses will be paid an agreed fee by ANDBC to run the experience.  This will be paid prior to the pilot delivery date, subject to the agreed cancellation period. All payments to suppliers will be made via BACS.  
  • ANDBC will manage ticket sales via Ticketsource. Ticket income will be retained by ANDBC. 
  • If there are no/low ticket sales – the experience will be cancelled, and no payment made to the business in line with the agreed cancellation period.  
  • Once a business / experience is accepted onto the programme, an agreed timeline for receipt of all information relating to the experience will be issued by Tourism Officers.  Failure to meet this date will result in the experience being removed from the programme.  
  • Each business must liaise directly with the ticketed customers prior to the experience. This to cover operational requirements, such as confirmed attendance, dietary requirements, access needs etc. and ensuring both parties have all necessary information. ANDBC will provide customer contact details to the businesses prior to the experience in line with all GDPR legislation. 
  • Experiences on the 2024/25 programme (April 2024 – March 2025) must be piloted first on the agreed date with ANDBC. After this, the provider may schedule additional experiences as they wish. 
  • Businesses must market the event via the tools available to them and as set out in their EOI. Additionally, the businesses will be provided with information on how to tag, share and the use of hashtags.  All business involved in the programme must engage in this activity. 
  • Failure to uphold your agreement may result in the cancellation of the experience and/or payment being withheld and exclusion from application to subsequent programme. 
  • If a business is delivering the experience through collaboration, it will the responsibility of the lead applicant to ensure that all parties are aware of the full terms and conditions and their requirements. 

Assessment Process 

Stage 1: Pass/fail  

The experience:  

  • Will be delivered within Ards and North Down Borough.  
  • Is a new idea not previously piloted/operated with ANDBC as part of its Experience programme.  
  • Where a business has been supported previously via this programme, the application must clearly show that the experience is completely new/different to what has been piloted previously. 
  • Will run between 1 April 2024 – 31 March 2025. 

That the applicant has:  

  • Agreed to the cancellation policy as per guidance notes. 
  • Agreed to the terms and conditions as per guidance notes.  
  • Provided a marketing plan within the application. 
  • Provided complete running/ticket costs for the experience.  

NB where any of the above have not been provided in full the application will not proceed. 

Stage 2: Scoring  

Applications will be scored on the following criteria. EOI’s should therefore give as much detail and evidence as to how the proposed pilot experience meets the criteria.  

  • Demonstrate how the experience has the ability to attract visitors from outside the borough.  
  • Marketing plan – provide detail as to how you will market the experience to maximise promotion and ticket sales.   
  • Provide the required detail to demonstrate a viable experience, including timings, collaboration, costs, ticket price and description. 
  • In the case of oversubscription consideration will be given to businesses with previous experience of delivering visitor experiences. 

Please note that if successful providers must furnish copies of relevant insurances, risk assessments and any other statutory documentation necessary to operate the experience. Failure to do so by the deadline stipulated in the letter of offer will result in the experience being cancelled. 


Where applicable or required, additional council assistance may be available e.g. Environmental Health advice/requirements for any experiences involving food and beverages. These will be identified at application stage. 

Questions on the ANDBC Experience Development Programme should be forwarded to