Sandbach Town Council has been awarded a £10,000 grant from the Portas Initiative and a Town Team was established to spend the award within Sandbach Town Centre. The Town Team is made up of businesses representatives from Sandbach as well as local councillors. One of the initiatives is a trial ‘Shop Front Improvement Scheme’. This will assist the renovation of some shop fronts within the town centre which uses £4000 of the grant.
There is local demand for a shop front improvement scheme
There is proven demand for a scheme which will address the varying levels of decoration and disrepair of some shop fronts in Sandbach. Sandbach Town Council has previously received several enquiries from business owners for assistance via such a scheme.
As there is a limited amount of funds, the project has been split into two phases. Phase One has been identified as High Street and Market Square. Depending on the success of the trial in Phase One, Phase Two will also be included. Phase Two includes the remaining streets with the Town Centre.
Once all applications have been received, Sandbach Town Team will assess the applications using weighted criteria in conjunction with conservation officers from Cheshire East Council and the Draft Shop Front Design Guide. Criteria will include visual impact of the proposal, sympathy with surrounding properties, value for money and location of property. A set of guiding principles will be made available to applicants at the outset of the process to steer designs to be sympathetic to the conservation area. Priority will be given to properties in phase one.
Successful proposals will be awarded up to 50% of the costs of their planned improvements!
Successful proposals will be awarded a grant of no more than 50% of total costs, with a maximum grant of £500 per property. This would enable shop frontage works of up to £8000 to be completed in Sandbach Town Centre.
Lots of local support to help the town look its best…
Fiona Bruce MP remarked ‘I am delighted to see that Sandbach Town Team has decided to launch this scheme. The vibrancy of our Town Centre depends on good quality shops, both inside and out. Sandbach Town Team is actively supporting local retailers during this challenging trading time and using the Portas funding to maximum effect.’
The Mayor of Sandbach, Councillor Mike Benson said ‘This project is a combined effort between Sandbach Town Council and the business community of Sandbach. I am sure the end result will benefit the community as a whole and may inspire other retailers to join in improving their shop frontages.’
Amanda Wagg, Chairman of the Town Team added ‘The Town Team has worked very hard to come up with ideas that will be in the best interest of Sandbach Town Centre. The Shop Front Improvement Scheme will have the best visual impact, ensuring that the Town Centre remains a pleasant place to be. This project will enhance the appearance and appeal of the town centre to visitors, customers and the local population.’
Carol Williams from STAR also commented ‘Members of STAR and Pubwatch are pleased to have been working as part of the Sandbach Town Team to decide the best way to utilise the Portas grant. We welcome this positive commitment from Sandbach Town council; enhancing the appearance of shop frontages will we hope, encourage more visitors and stimulate business and consumer confidence’.
Look out for your information pack during 15th – 19th July!
All independent retailers with a shop frontage will receive an information pack and application form during the week 15th – 19th July 2013. The deadline for applications is Friday 23rd August 2013. For further information please contact Amanda Wagg on 01270 600825 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also get in touch if you would like to be kept up to date via email or if you are interested in future events for Sandbach Traders and Retailers.