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People & Communities

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2024

Now covering St Neots, Ramsey, Huntingdon and St Ives. The closing date for applications is 1 September 2024.

The Shop Front Grant Scheme is being offered to businesses in the town centres of Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots and Ramsey. Grants of up to £10,000 will be awarded to cover front of building refurbishment costs.

The scheme is funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) and is being delivered jointly by Huntingdon BID and Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC).

Who can apply?

Businesses will be eligible to apply for a shop front grant of up to £10,000 if the shop is at ground level and you can answer YES to the following questions:

What does the grant cover?

External renovations or improvements to the front elevations of buildings, including, but not limited to:

  • 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

  • accessibility adaptations to the front of the property.

Grants will be awarded to cover between 50% and 100% of the cost of the works (excluding VAT), with 100% grant awards being offered only in exceptional circumstances, based on the assessment and scoring criteria applied to each application.

Applicants are encouraged to make use of the pre-application advice service offered by HDC's Planning Team to ensure that the need and process for obtaining planning permission/listed building consent is properly understood. Support will be available for any pre-application requests directly linked to the scheme.

Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis across all towns.

How do I apply?

Applicants must:

  • complete the online application form by the deadline of 1 September 2024

  • confirm that they:

    • are the freeholder or leaseholder (and/or have written consent from the landlord to carry out the work)

    • have funds available if the total cost of the works exceeds the grant award

    • understand the requirement for planning permission/listed building consent to be sought prior to any works being carried out. 

  • provide three comparable quotes for the work

  • provide recent photos of the property showing its condition.

What happens next?

Completed application forms, supported by the relevant paperwork, will be assessed monthly by the Application Review Team. 

Applications will be assessed on the basis of:

  • completion of the application form and supporting information provided

  • project scope

  • proposals which support accessibility improvements

  • consideration of conservation, locality and the contribution to the local area

  • eligibility

  • match funding/applicant financial contribution

  • perceived value of the project.

Once the application has been assessed we will contact you to confirm if your application has been accepted (subject to planning consent). We will not consider any applications that are incomplete.

Decisions to reject an application cannot be appealed, but feedback will be provided which can be used to support subsequent further applications if required.

How do I receive the grant?

After a grant has been approved the money will be paid when:

  • evidence of planning/statutory permissions has been provided (including planning permission, listed building consent, building control, advertising consent and licensing)

  • the work has been carried out satisfactorily. Grants are subject to an end of works inspection by a Project Team representative to ensure compliance with planning conditions and the approved grant application. 

  • evidence of the expenditure has been provided (VAT invoices).

Non-compliance with any of the above points will result in the grant monies being withheld.

Terms and conditions

Business units must be within the town centre boundary of Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots or Ramsey (please refer to the maps).

Premises should be located on the ground floor and visible from the street, and any works must make a positive difference to the surrounding area.

National multiples/brands and franchisees will not be eligible for grant funding.

Applicants must be up to date with Business Rates (NNDR) and BID Levy payments, and this will be verified before a decision is made as part of the application review process.

Grant applications must be approved before any works take place – retrospective applications or awards will not be supported.

The maximum grant that can be awarded is £10,000, covering between 50% and 100% of the cost of works (excluding VAT). 100% grants will only be awarded in exceptional circumstances.

Applications must be made online via the eform available on the HDC website.

Applications should be supported by written consent from the landlord to carry out the works where the applicant is not the freeholder.

Evidence should be available to support the application, including 3 separate quotes obtained for the works, confirmation of the ability of the applicant to fund works in excess of the £10,000 grant limit and any match funding.

Grants are awarded subject to the necessary planning permission and consents (including listed building consent, licensing, building regs etc) being obtained and complied with.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain the necessary advice and secure planning permission and other consents for the works.

  • Renovation works may require planning permission

  • Building and electrical works will require Building Control approval

  • Licensing may be applicable for pavement cafes or similar

  • Advertisement consent (via Planning) will need to be sought for new signage

Successful applicants will be asked to sign a grant agreement which confirms the grant funding terms and conditions which may be applied.

All works should commence within three months of a successful application and all grant claims should be submitted by 31 December 2024.

Grants are paid on provision of evidence of expenditure.

Grants are subject to an end of works inspection by Project Team representatives to ensure compliance with planning conditions and the initial grant application submission. Payment will not be made where the works are not found to be compliant with stipulated planning conditions and the initially approved scheme.

Successful applicant details may be published on the HDC / Huntingdon BID website and in communications material such as press releases and social media posts.

Questions and information

The following links may help you plan your application:

If you have any queries or need further information or advice, please email Paul Sweeney, Huntingdon First BID Manager, at paul@bidhuntingdon.co.uk

Apply for the Shop Front Grant

 

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