Huntingdonshire District Council has launched a new scheme which provides grants of up to £10,000 to local businesses in Huntingdon and St Ives town centres. The scheme is funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and is being delivered jointly by BID Huntingdon First and Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC).
The grants can be used to support local businesses to repair and improve their shop fronts. The scheme aims to improve the aesthetics of our high streets, encouraging residents to shop locally and attract more local businesses to the area.
Applications will be reviewed monthly, and examples of improvements include, but are not limited to:
- external lighting
- repair of external stonework and brickwork
- repair and reinstatement of guttering and down-pipes
- window display equipment and lighting
- professional fees.
All proposals will be subject to the planning approval process, and applicants are encouraged to use the council's pre-application advice service.
Executive Councillor for Job, Economy and Housing, Cllr Sam Wakeford, said: "We want to see our town centres thriving, so we are pleased to be able to support the new Shop Fronts Grant Scheme in Huntingdon and St Ives alongside BID Huntingdon First and the Combined Authority. The scheme provides our independent business owners with a great opportunity to make their business even more attractive and help encourage more residents and visitors into the towns to enjoy the great shops that Huntingdon and St Ives have to offer."
The Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson, said: "Investing in historic market towns like Huntingdon and St Ives remains a top priority for the Combined Authority, helping them to stay the bustling and beautiful rural centres they've been for hundreds of years. When you remember that more people live in our market towns than in our cities, it's crucial that they get every support in shaping their own future. Giving businesses a fresh look is beyond cosmetic because attractive high streets make their own success, they bring in ever more unique and exciting shops and eateries, attract visitors, tourists, and new residents. They keep towns on the map as go-to destinations for a really good day out and increase the time and money people spend mooching in the centre."
Paul Sweeney, Huntingdon First Town Manager said: "BID Huntingdon First are incredibly proud to support the Combined Authority and HDC in the delivery of the Shop Front Grant Scheme in both Huntingdon and St Ives. It’s a fantastic scheme for our local, independent traders who can use the funding toward making our towns look even better! Being able to offer financial support to independent business owners to improve their facias and attract more visitors by making their environment more inviting is just brilliant. This is such an important time for businesses in general but particularly on the high street. Through our combined work with HDC and the Combined Authority, we are really pleased to see real change in our town centre."
For more information on eligibility and an application form, businesses can visit our webpage.