Grant's £100,000 boost for new businesses in St Annes, Lytham and Kirkham
More than £100,000 in grants has been handed out in just six months to businesses taking over empty premises in a bid to boost town centres.
At least 15 traders in St Annes, Lytham and Kirkham have benefited by up to £10,000 each – covering up to 50 per cent of the costs of updating and refitting the premises – from the Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) Vacant Premises scheme.
It was introduced by the Government via local authorities earlier this year to aid recovery of the local economy after lockdown.
The first money under the scheme locally was paid out in May to the Bella B Boutique in St Annes and now the The Hop Shoppe bar, craft beer and bottle shop – just yards away – is coincidentally among the latest recipients tipping the total paid into six figures.
She has used the £10,000 grant towards extensive renovations and new shop signage, and has transformed her business from a jazz bar to The Hop Shoppe, which is due to open this month.
Khyra, who owned the previous Jazz Emporium, said: “The grant has been a real bonus – and has made it possible for me to knock through from my original premises and expand the business.
Meanwhile, Dawson’s Arts and Crafts Emporium has taken over the former Semple’s Art Shop on The Crescent in St Annes and been awarded £5,151 used to refurbish the property.
Michelle and Lee Dawson have revived the empty shop premises to sell eco-friendly art supplies and gifts.
Michelle said: “We are big believers in supporting the local high street and really want to encourage everyone to shop local - it’s better for the environment and it’s better for us all.’’
Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley said: “The take up for the Vacant Premises Grant has been strong across all three town centres and the scheme has helped to generate inquiries for long-term empty properties.
“It has instilled confidence for people to take that leap into starting or expanding their businesses and we have had excellent feedback.
“It is fantastic that we have reached the £100,000 mark and there are still some wonderful businesses in the final stages of the process, so we look forward to announcing those soon.”
The grant scheme runs until the end of this month and details are available at www.fylde.gov.uk
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