Retailers in South Tyneside are being invited to apply for grant funding to support improvements to their premises.
The Council has launched a Shop Front Improvement Grant Scheme to support businesses in South Tyneside by making shop front improvements to their commercial premises within the borough.
A shop front is the facade or entryway of a retail premises located on the ground floor or street level of a commercial building, typically including one or more display windows to attract visual attention to a business and its merchandise.
Grants from £500 to £2,500 are available at a maximum of 50% of eligible project costs.
Project costs relating to premises improvements including:
building works (excluding professional fees)
external cosmetic improvements
Cllr Mark Walsh, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy at South Tyneside Council said: "The scheme has been directed specifically at the retail sector who weren't supported in the last round of ARG grants.
"The funding, whilst limited, is at the discretion of councils in terms of how it is spent. Creating the right conditions for recovery and investment is a key priority for us, as is supporting our town centres, high streets and villages and we hope that this additional funding will help support retail businesses who are looking to make improvements to their premises.
"Throughout the pandemic we have done everything we can to support our business community and continue to do so as we move to recovery post covid."
Eligible businesses may apply for grant funding for shop front improvement projects which meet all of the following criteria:
has eligible project costs of a minimum of £1,000 excluding VAT
is making improvements to commercial premises with shop frontages within South Tyneside
can supply all supporting information with their application
has necessary landlord approvals in place before any improvements are undertaken (where applicable)
Some improvements may be subject to planning regulations. If applicable, planning permission must be in place before work commences and a grant can be awarded.
There is a limited budget available and grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.
The funding forms part of the Covid business recovery funding which the Council has administered throughout the pandemic.
South Tyneside Council has administered over £50m of grants to businesses in total.
Cllr Walsh added: "South Tyneside Council has continued to listen to, and respond to, the needs of local businesses throughout the pandemic. Due to the limited resource available, we have had to make difficult decisions about how to prioritise and allocate the funding available. Unfortunately, the Council has not been able to support every business that contacted us given the financial constraints, however we have delivered these grant schemes as quickly as possible to those organisations within the criteria."