Great Yarmouth Borough Council to help improve town centre shopfronts

  • Grants are available to improve shop fronts in town centre - Image by Great Yarmouth Mercury
    Grants are available to improve shop fronts in town centre - Image by Great Yarmouth Mercury
  • Successful grant applicant - Ryan Lawes from Gentleman's Headquarters
    Successful grant applicant - Ryan Lawes from Gentleman's Headquarters
  • Successful applicant - Richard Marks & Eleanor Rodgers from Woodcraft
    Successful applicant - Richard Marks & Eleanor Rodgers from Woodcraft

As part of efforts by the Borough Council to make the central area of Great Yarmouth more attractive to shoppers, residents and investors, businesses in the town centre are able to apply for grants to improve their frontages.

Under the Town Centre Shopfront Improvement Scheme, 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. Businesses must cover 25% of the total cost themselves.  At present there is a funding pot of £60,000.

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, applications must have obtained the relevant permissions, including any planning permission and landlord permission required.

All applicants, whether successful or not, will be offered free business guidance, and advice on marketing, branding and visual merchandising, via enterpriseGY, the borough council’s business support service.

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.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has already approved its first grants to help businesses improve their town centre frontages, with a total of £8,500 agreed in relation to five successful applicants. The successful applicants are: Gentleman’s Headquarters and the Sock Shop in Regent Street; and Woodcraft, Branded Toys and Wallis’ Wonders in the Victoria Arcade.

Commenting on the town centre improvement scheme, Neil Orford, President of Great Yarmouth Chamber council said:

“We want to see a thriving town centre and these grants will help deliver real change whilst encouraging local businesses to invest in our town and help drive further economic growth for Great Yarmouth.”  

Cllr Barry Coleman, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, said:

““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.”

Application forms, guidance and a map showing the area covered by the scheme, are available by visiting http://www.enterprisegy.co.uk/shop-front, emailing enterpriseGY@great-yarmouth.gov.uk or by calling enterpriseGY on 0800 458 0146.

Applications close on 31 March 2018, or sooner if funding is spent before this date.

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