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 revitalises market towns through improvements to shop fronts and tackling vacant retail units.

The scheme offered 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.

About the funding

Successful businesses were 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 were 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 shop front improvements

The scheme funded up to 60% of required works (with 40% coming from private and other public sector sources) and included design / build costs and any planning permission fees required. Grants couldn't 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.