Businesses in Mid Suffolk’s Market Towns are being invited to apply for funding to make improvements to their shopfronts and make their businesses more accessible under two new grant schemes launched Friday 31st August.
Businesses in Stowmarket, Needham Market, Eye and the surrounding villages can apply for grants to both make their buildings more attractive on the high street and help create a better experience for visitors. The improvements can be funded under a Shop front Grant or an Accessibility Fund grant, both of which are available to shop owners.
The grants are being offered by Mid Suffolk District Council as part of its commitment to the prosperity of its Market Towns. This commitment has seen £350,000 allocated to fund the two new programmes to assist local businesses create a better experience for visitors.
The Shop Front Scheme and the Accessibility Scheme grant funds will be awarded for a range of applications including new shop fronts, painting, lighting, cladding, shop front signage and new awnings, and for improvement works that will make buildings more accessible including; widening of doorways, removal of steps, power assisted doors and training.
Under the Shop Front Grant Mid Suffolk are offering funding to cover up to 75% of the costs of shop front improvements worth £15,000. In additional, the Accessibility Fund Grant can provide up to £5,000 to improve access to businesses. These schemes support changes to buildings that will make a significant difference to the local street scene, creating a more welcoming and vibrant atmosphere.
The scheme is also open to owners of listed buildings, with Council Officers ready to help applicants with any necessary planning applications and other permissions needed to improve their shopfront. This will make sure that important heritage assets can be upgraded in a sympathetic way.
Cllr Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Our communities have really excelled themselves in creating welcoming atmospheres for everyone, from Needham Market’s Dementia Action Alliance to Stowmarket’s Community Luncheon Club. These grants will support our businesses in making the bricks and mortar of their shops as accessible and welcoming to shoppers as the people who run them.”
Cllr. Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “Our high streets are at the heart of the local economy, not only for residents who use them regularly but for visitors who travel from far and wide to see our historic towns and their attractions. This scheme provides businesses the chance to revitalise their shop fronts, keeping our high streets attractive, interesting and accessible making them good places to visit and enjoy.”
For advice and more information regarding the scheme shop owners can email the Economic Development Team or call 0300 1234000 or contact the team via:
Mid Suffolk Shop Front Grant Scheme
Economic Development Team
Mid Suffolk District Council
8 Russell Road