Two town centre funding schemes will be established to assist borough businesses.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council will prioritise support for businesses within its corporate plan, Building a Better Borough, with an initial £50,000 to fund the newly-introduced Town Centres Commercial Units Conversion Grant Scheme.
The initiative will provide funding to allow landlords of larger town centres retail and commercial units to create smaller units, increasing the affordability to businesses in the borough, with no restriction upon the category of businesses premises for which an application can be made.
As part of the scheme, grants will be available to all businesses based within Nuneaton and Bedworth town centres for one-off costs up to a maximum of £10,000 per business, which must be matched, and works are required be completed within 12 months of the application.
Because town centres are changing, many national retail chains have either ceased trading or have amended their business model reducing town centre locations, and it is these national chains that typically occupied the larger, more costly retail or commercial units in both town centres.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council would like to receive grant proposals directly from businesses which can be used towards costs incurred for construction and fabrication, provision of utilities, professional fees associated with the development and delivery of the project, including planning fees, consultancy fees and advisory services.
At Cabinet last Wednesday (24 May) it was also proposed that £20,000 be set aside to establish a Small Grant for Businesses Scheme to support local businesses.
Cllr Kris Wilson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and Portfolio Holder for Business and Regeneration, said:
“Town Centres continue to face challenging economic times. By bringing disused larger units back into use for more smaller and independent businesses will breathe new life into Nuneaton and Bedworth.
“Having more shops will give residents even more of a reason to visit their town centres, support their local economy and protect local jobs.
“This new fund continues our track record of supporting our town centres and businesses and I look forward to successful applications coming forward.”
Due to demand, the Town Centres Commercial Units Conversion Grant and Town Centres Business Support Grant Schemes may be extended, revised, or ended based upon available funding.