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Market Towns makeover for shopfronts in Huntingdon and St Ives


Market Towns makeover for shopfronts in Huntingdon and St Ives

Funded by the Combined Authority’s Market Towns Programme, Huntingdonshire District Council has launched a new scheme offering ‘spruce up’ grants of up to £10k to give facelifts to businesses in Huntingdon and St Ives.

Paul Sweeney, Huntingdon First Town Manager:

“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 the Combined Authority and HDC we are really pleased to see real change in our town centre”

Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson:

“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.”

Although it is funded by the Combined Authority, the scheme is delivered jointly by BID Huntingdon First and Huntingdonshire District Council.   The grants are to be used by local businesses to smarten up and repair their shop fronts. The scheme aims to improve the look and feel of the high streets, making residents want to shop locally and attract more companies into the town.

Examples of improvements include:

    • repairs
    • repainting
    • signage
    • external lighting
    • repair of external stonework and brickwork
    • repair and reinstatement of guttering and down-pipes
    • window display equipment and lighting
    • professional fees

Successful proposals will see grants to cover between 50% and 100% of the cost of the works, but with 100% awards being offered only in exceptional circumstances. All proposals will be subject to HDC’s planning approval process – but the council has a pre-application advice service.

Cllr Sam Wakeford, HDC Executive Councillor for Job, Economy and Housing: “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.”