Telford & Wrekin Council is demonstrating its continued investment into the borough’s high streets after unveiling a new wave of revive and thrive fund grants.
The council is dedicated to supporting high street businesses across the borough through the Revive and Thrive fund – a £4.8 million investment which is part of the council’s wider Pride in Our High Street programme.
There are five strands to the fund which include a high street business start-up grant, a start-up trial grant, a digital high street grant, a high street property façade grant and a high street ‘eco’ grant.
All the cash grants are a reflection of the long term pressures affecting our high streets such as competition from online shopping, but they are also a response to the additional pressures high street businesses now face following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The grants will either give businesses the helping hand they need to launch on the high street or will help them to go from strength-to-strength once they have established themselves.
They recognise that high street businesses are the heart of their local communities and also support local people who want to take their first steps into self-employment in the high street without taking on large risks.
The business start-up grant, which can be up to £10,000, aims to bring empty retail units back into use and provides funding for business looking to open on the high streets of Dawley, Madeley, Ironbridge, Oakengates, Wellington and Newport.
Start-up trial grants cater for people who want to look for a new career, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The grant will enable them to test out a new business venture by launching a pop-up business in one of the town’s markets or in an empty retail unit.
Digital high street grants of up to £1,000 will help businesses to equip themselves in the digital arena with equipment and automated systems while the high street property façade grant will help businesses to maintain an attractive high street presence by funding works to shop frontages and signage.
The high street ‘eco’ grant is a new strand to the revive and thrive funding grants.
It encourages businesses to adopt a ‘greener’ approach, supporting businesses with removing plastic from their product packaging and purchasing green gadgets to improve their sustainability.
Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, Regeneration and the High Street, said: ‘The investment we’re making into high streets is part of a much wider commitment in our budget to support businesses in the borough.
“Because of sound financial management over many years, we’re able to do this with the lowest level of council tax in the Midlands as well as making a commitment to freeze the general level of council tax for the next two years.
“We are pleased to further increase our investment into the high street through the Revive and Thrive fund and continue to support businesses who want to re-launch on the high street or trial a new business initiative.”
Since the Pride in Our High Street programme was launched in 2019, Telford & Wrekin Council has issued 60 Revive and Thrive grants for start-up businesses (both pop up and physical shops) and only three have closed their doors during this time, demonstrating the effectiveness of the scheme.
Lee added: “The last couple of years hasn’t been easy for many local businesses but we are determined to back them and encourage local people to shop local.
“These grants are tailored for individual business needs but they all have one common goal – to help the high street prosper.
“We look forward to seeing business across the borough benefit from these latest cash incentives and making their presence felt on the high street.”
All grants are administered by the Pride in Our High Streets team at Telford & Wrekin Council.