Tuesday, 14 August 2018 00:00

Great Yarmouth Borough Council agrees grants to help improve shopfronts

Written by  David Wiles
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Great Yarmouth Borough Council agrees grants to help improve shopfronts

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has agreed grants totalling £52,000 to improve town centre frontages over the last 18 months – and businesses and social enterprises are urged to apply soon if they wish to secure some of the remaining funds.  

Under the Town Centre Shopfront Improvement Scheme, eligible applicants can ask for grants of up to £3,000 to help fund shopfront renovation, decoration, new signage and/or replacement of historic features, in Great Yarmouth town centre. 

Through five funding rounds over the last 18 months, the council has approved 23 grant applications totalling £52,360, including £19,840 during the last funding round alone, helping to accelerate and unlock investment in frontages.

With only £16,000 now left in the grant pot, eligible businesses and social enterprises are encouraged to get in touch soon, or risk missing out on a grant. Applicants must cover at least 25 per cent of the total cost themselves.

The scheme supports the council’s wider Town Centre Masterplan, which aims to enhance the historic town centre for the 21st century as a destination where more people choose to live, work, invest and spend their leisure time and money.  

One recent successful applicant is The Bag Shop, in Regent Road, which was granted about £1,840 to help replace shopfront signage and fit large entrance doors, as part of a wider investment that has seen them completely refurbish and fit out their new base.

The Bag Shop was one of the businesses displaced by the major fire at the indoor market, during August 2016, and has kept operating on their stall on the two-day market, returning to Regent Road this spring when a suitable unit became available.     

Co-owner Alan Pitt said: “Things are going really well. Without the grant, we would’ve probably just had plain doors and we wouldn’t have been able to afford to have the branding. That makes a big difference, especially when people are walking down the street. I would highly recommend the grant scheme. It’s a simple process, the council staff have been very helpful, and it has enabled us to do things we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.”

Another successful applicant is Gillian Harwood, of London-based Lewes Workspace Ltd, which is planning to renovate, as a business hub, an empty historic building in Queen Street, at an estimated investment of more than £100,000. The council has approved up to £3,000 towards suitable and costed improvements to the building’s façade.

She said: “We are very pleased with this most welcome grant. We hope that our investment in Great Yarmouth will encourage both exciting new businesses to grow and existing businesses to enjoy the facilities too. We are very impressed by the hard work and vision of the borough council in their improvement plans and, hopefully, we can show what can be done to make a difference.” 

Cllr Barry Coleman, chairman of the economic development committee, said: “We have seen some really great applications from a range of businesses, and the grants have made a genuine difference through incentivising private sector investment and supporting our wider work to boost the town centre and economy for everyone’s benefit. 

“Through this scheme, I am particularly pleased the council has been able to further help some of the businesses which were affected by the major fire, and also to support exciting aspirations and works at some historic buildings. While we still have some money left in the pot, we encourage eligible applicants to submit their forms as soon as possible to avoid missing out.”

Application forms, guidance and a map showing the area covered by the scheme are available by visiting www.enterprisegy.co.uk/shop-front, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling enterpriseGY on 0800 458 0146. 

Last modified on Sunday, 13 January 2019 14:10

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