Grants Give “Golden Opportunity”

April 21, 2016 8:44 am

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Ashfield District Council recognises the importance of the area’s town centres and local shopping streets to the local economy and has set up a Retail Improvement Scheme to help small businesses in retail areas to improve or repair the fabric and appearance of qualifying properties.

Launching this month, this is one of several emerging initiatives being developed by the Council which are aimed at supporting the local economy.

The scheme aims to encourage a high standard of physical improvements to buildings in retail areas throughout Ashfield and is available to existing and new retailers who would like to improve their existing businesses premises or a vacant unit which they are moving into.

The grant can be used for a range of improvements, including external repairs; improving internal shop fittings, displays or facilities; developing IT or painting exterior shop fronts.

Under the terms of the scheme, applicants could receive up to 50% of the total cost of the project, up to a maximum of £5,000 and all successful applicants will also be eligible to access mentoring support for their business from a business advisor.

A further grant scheme, offering grants of up to £1,500, is also available to provide support to new start-up market traders moving into the Idlewells Indoor Market or up to £500 for new start-up traders looking to locate to the outdoor markets in Sutton-in-Ashfield; Kirkby-in-Ashfield or Hucknall.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr. Don Davis said the scheme offered a perfect way for new traders and small businesses to access vital funding to support growing enterprises.

“Regenerating and enhancing the District’s town centre economy is vitally important to the Council and we are determined to support and encourage fledgling businesses and help our town centres to prosper.”

“This really is a golden opportunity and anyone wanting to learn more about the scheme should contact us and get their application in as soon as possible.”

Businesses owner Emma Mee of Hucknall recognises just how important this scheme is, as she secured a grant from a previous round of funding.

“I applied to Ashfield District Council for a Vacant Shop Grant, which enabled me to open my hair and beauty salon – Emma’s Cutting Edge – at Nabbs Lane,” she said.

“Both Ashfield and Mansfield District Councils gave good advice about the schemes available. The application process was straight forward and there was always someone from the Council to talk to if I had any questions.”

“The grant helped get my business up and running – without it I would have really struggled to buy everything I needed to start my own business.  I have been trading nearly a year now and the business is going from strength to strength”.

For further details about the scheme and the qualifying criteria, please contact Caroline Lomas, Regeneration Project Officer on (01623) 463174 for an informal chat or email regeneration@ashfield-dc.gov.uk

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