GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council has approved its first grants to help businesses and social enterprises improve their town centre frontages, with a total of £8,500 agreed in relation to five successful applicants.
Under the Town Centre Shopfront Improvement Scheme, which remains open for applications, eligible applicants can ask for grants of up to £3,000 each to help fund shopfront renovation, decoration, new signage and/or replacement of historic features including lighting.
Initially £60,000 is being made available through the project, part of the borough council’s wider efforts through its Town Centre Initiative to make Great Yarmouth town centre, a top public priority, more attractive to shoppers, residents and investors.
Since the scheme was announced in November, five businesses have submitted valid applications, which were agreed last night by the Economic Development Committee. The businesses must cover 25 per cent of the total cost themselves.
The following successful applicants have six months to complete works and submit a claim form, with the grants made once the claim has been accepted.
Ryan Lawes, of Gentleman’s Headquarters, a new barber shop in Regent Street – £1,950 to help fund new signage and window decoration to further enhance the shop, which he has already recently completed painting.
Sharron Hanks and Jonathan Hanks, of the Sock Stop, in Regent Road – £3,000 towards improvements including replacing an old outdated, shopfront which does not have disabled access, adding a new awning, new signage, roller security doors and repainting. This business was affected by last summer’s fire in Regent Road.
Richard Marks, of Woodcraft, in the Victoria Arcade – £1,645.23 towards new signage, lighting and a new window display. This trader relocated recently to Victoria Arcade after his previous trading premises was destroyed by last summer’s fire in Regent Road.
Stephen Cook, of Branded Toys, in the Victoria Arcade – £891 towards additional lighting to window displays to help improve the shop’s visibility and advertising that it is open. This trader relocated recently to Victoria Arcade after his previous trading premises was destroyed by last summer’s fire in Regent Road.
Mike Wallis, of Wallis’ Wonders, in the Victoria Arcade – £1,026 to help with providing spotlighting for both windows to help enhance the shop and attract customers.
Cllr Barry Coleman, chairman of the economic development committee, said: “I am so pleased that this grant scheme is already doing its intended job: acting firstly as a catalyst for real improvements that will enhance the town centre shopping experience, and secondly as an incentive for private sector investment, to help grow the economy and help turn that virtuous cycle of confidence and growth.
“These first successful applications cover a real diversity of businesses and premises in different parts of the town centre, including some historic premises – and it is particularly great that the borough council is able to further help some of the businesses which were affected by last summer’s fire in Regent Road.
“There is, however, still money in the pot and we would like to hand out more grants in the coming months, so if you are an eligible business or social enterprise then please do follow suit and submit a well thought out application, because now is an ideal time to invest.”
Richard Marks, of Woodcraft, said: “Our previous trading location of 25 years, the Indoor Market, was sadly destroyed in the fire in August, but we have made a fresh start here in the Victoria Arcade and are hoping to bring our customers with us.
“Together with our own funds, this fabulous grant from the borough council will pay for shopfront improvements that will help us promote our shop and products, in addition to enhancing the historic architecture of the arcade.”
Ryan Lawes, of Gentleman’s Headquarters, said: “I am most thankful to the borough council for this grant. I’m 21 years old, just starting out in business, and have invested significantly in transforming what was an empty unit into a new facility, so this contribution to improving my frontage is most welcome and will also help to increase custom and footfall in the town centre.”
Application forms, guidance and a map showing the area covered by the scheme, are available by visiting www.enterprisegy.co.uk/shop-front, emailing [email protected] or by calling enterpriseGY on 0800 458 0146.
Applications close on March 31, 2018, or sooner if funding is spent before this date.
The shopfront scheme aims to:
Improve business frontages, including shops, commercial businesses and social enterprises.
Enhance the appearance and appeal of the town centre to visitors, customers and local residents.
Preserve and enhance the special character of the conservation area, its listed buildings and other buildings of public importance.
Assist towards encouraging further inward investment and stimulate business and consumer confidence.
Completed applications are assessed on their individual merits by the Town Centre Shop Front Sub Committee, a cross-party sub-committee of the Economic Development Committee.
If an application is approved, the business will have six months to complete the works and submit a claim form, with payments made only once works are complete. Before starting work, applicants must have obtained the relevant permissions, including any planning permission and landlord permission required.
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