Fylde Council is launching a new grant scheme to support the post-pandemic recovery of our high streets by offering grants worth up to £3,000 for businesses with a commercial shopfront across the borough.

The aim of the scheme is to support businesses that offer in-person services who have seen covid- related restrictions affecting their ability to trade and therefore may have struggled to update or maintain their shopfronts. The scheme will also offer support to landlords of commercial properties who are struggling to attract tenants or full occupation of a property as a result of the post- pandemic climate and outdated frontage.

Shopfronts have a big impact on the appearance of a shopping area and contribute to the first and lasting impression. The scheme will advance the growth of local businesses, improve the local environment, enhance local heritage and raise the aesthetic appearance of the borough for all stakeholders.

Examples of eligible works include the cost of new signage, external lighting, repainting and repairs of existing shopfronts, or security glazing.

Cllr Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, looks forward to the impact the scheme will make to local businesses, saying, “This is the latest scheme on offer to boost businesses post-pandemic and it operates right across the borough. Attractive shop fronts will increase custom and make our high streets welcoming for locals and visitors. For an investment of £1,000, the council will put in £3,000 extra to improve the appearance of your business. It’s a fabulous offer and I hope the take- up will be considerable.”

Businesses that meet the following key criteria can apply for the ARG Shopfront Improvement Scheme until 31 January 2022, subject to the availability of the limited funding:
• The premises are within Fylde Borough
• Properties should have a commercial frontage
• The applicant must be:
o An independent business with appropriate lease agreement including a minimum of
5 years remaining on the lease, OR;
o The owner or landlord of a vacant or occupied commercial premise, OR;

o A representative of a group of businesses and individuals seeking to improve joint commercial frontage or a communal area.

Premises that have already received an ARG Vacant Premises Grant or are eligible for funding through the Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) or Future High Street Fund (FHFS) shopfront are not eligible to apply.

Businesses can apply for a maximum grant of up to £3,000 towards the external renovation or improvement of ground floor and upper floor commercial units. The grant will cover up to 75% of the total cost; to a maximum value of £3,000.

Full terms and conditions of the grant scheme and details on how to apply can be found at:
 https://new.fylde.gov.uk/arg-shopfront-improvement-scheme/

For more information of Covid-19 support grants visit: https://new.fylde.gov.uk/covid-business-guidance/