High Street Improvement Scheme

About the High Street Improvement Scheme

This is a £1 million capital fund, set aside from our Market Town Regeneration Fund, to deliver a high street improvement scheme that will revitalise market towns through improvements to shop fronts and tackling vacant retail units.

The scheme offers grants to high street businesses to make improvements to their business premises to create attractive shop frontages that attract more visitors and shoppers onto the high street.

The scheme, which will be delivered from March 2018 takes a managed approach in partnership with town councils and this partnership will be critical to the success of the scheme.

How the funding will work

Successful businesses have been eligible to apply for a capital improvement grant, having met certain criteria, such as the business being an 'independent' and not part of a multiple chain of stores. Only those areas with participating town councils have been eligible for the scheme.

Grants of up to £20,000 (and in exceptional cases up to £50,000) were available to enable businesses to:

  • carry out external redecoration to the front of the business
  • improve a privately-owned forecourt or threshold facing the high street
  • improve or replace the existing fascia or signage
  • replace windows or window frames and doors
  • highlight ornate building features such as cornicing and other architectural features
  • improve or replace exterior lighting
  • provide new awnings
  • create a new brand identity for signage purposes
  • provide other capital shop front improvements

The scheme is funding up to 60% of required works (with 40% coming from private and other public sector sources) and will include design / build costs and any planning permission fees required. Grants cannot be used retrospectively to fund works that have already been carried out.

Please email market.towns@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk if you have any questions about the scheme.

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