The second round of a funding programme which has helped to breathe new life into local town centres is being launched by InvestSK.
Since the beginning of the year, the Town Centre Investment Fund has awarded a total of £32,000 to five businesses, creating 18 jobs with a further 40 expected to be created over the next two years.
Now the door is open to other businesses in South Kesteven who are looking to move into vacant town centre units within any of the district’s four market towns: Grantham, Stamford, Market Deeping and Bourne.
Up to £10,000 is available for successful applicants which can be used to pay for capital costs such as new signage, equipment and fit-out work.
InvestSK is South Kesteven’s economic development and regeneration company and the funding is being made available by South Kesteven District Council (SKDC).
Head of Economy and Skills Jon Hinde said: “Part of InvestSK’s remit is to support economic growth in the district and create new jobs. The Town Centre Investment Fund is achieving both of those aims and breathing new life into vacant units at the same time.
“It’s already made a huge difference to several businesses who otherwise would not have realised their growth ambitions in South Kesteven. It’s a fantastic opportunity and we would encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch to find out if they are eligible to apply.”
Among those who were awarded grants in the first round was the Teaspoon Tea Company in Grantham.
Owner Pamela Merryweather said: “The move on to the High Street has been brilliant for us and the town in general. Our customers tell us the shop is welcoming, open and has a cool vibe.
“Since the move we’ve taken on three new members of staff and over the next few months we’re planning on recruiting two more.
“We hope the vibrant and welcoming place we have created will encourage people into town and hopefully inspire others to take advantage of the Town Centre Investment Fund.”
Other recipients include Flowers from Holland which has opened a second shop in Grantham on Westgate and specialist care company Greenwood Homecare which has expanded its business from Peterborough to South Kesteven.
Councillor Helen Goral, SKDC’s Cabinet Member for Growth, said: “We all want to be proud of where we live, and this fund has been created to help regenerate our town centres and minimise the number of vacant properties which has a huge impact not only on the appearance but also on business confidence.
“Having a vibrant, attractive high street is good news for everyone as it encourages more local residents, tourists and businesses to visit the town centre which in turn boosts the local economy.”
To apply for a grant of up to £10,000 visit www.investsk.co.uk/towncentreinvestmentfund