Leicester City Council is offering £615,000 in match funding to independent Leicester businesses to improve their properties.
Independent retailers can apply for match-funding to improve their shop fronts and help give important gateways into the city a makeover.
So far, over 100 businesses have been supported through the scheme and grants of over £370,000 have been awarded. This has helped to attract over £335,000 in private sector investment.
Key projects have included the grade-II listed YMCA building on Granby Street and almost 40 shops along the Golden Mile with bright, bold new paint jobs.
The second phase of the programme will focus on local neighbourhood shopping areas and key independent shopping streets linked to city centre regeneration projects.
Areas being targeted include Saffron Lane, Wharf Street North, Heyford Road, Barley Croft Centre, King Richard’s Road. Aylestone Village and St Stephen’s Road. City centre improvements are likely to be focussed around the Market and Church Gate.
Money will also be available in all shopping areas to help improve the vacant shop fronts and encourage new business start-ups.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said:
“It is vital that we continue to invest in our shopping areas to help ensure that they are attractive to customers, visitors and investors.
The retail support scheme is a great way of doing this. By targeting local shopping areas and struggling city centre streets, it provides benefits to the businesses based there and contributes to improving the overall appearance of the area”.
All grants offered through the scheme will require a guarantee of match-funding from the business owner.