Published: 13:49, 13 February 2020
The council-run scheme provides up to £3,500 to spruce up storefronts and improve signage, entrances and shop windows, while also offering help to improve insulation and energy efficiency.
The Local Centre and Parades Grant Scheme is open to independent food and retail businesses, with the local authority willing to fund up to half of the total project cost.
Following a successful scheme in Tonbridge and larger villages last year, in which 21 businesses took part, it is being rolled out once again, though priority is given to those located in certain areas.
These include Greenacres Parade in Aylesford, Burham, Wouldham and Eccles, Woodlands Parade in Ditton, High Street and Twisden Road in East Malling, Hildenborough, Oxley Shaw in Leybourne, Plaxtol, York Parade, Martin Hardie Way and Northwood Road in suburban Tonbridge and Wateringbury.
Local charity, Action with Communities in Rural Kent, is working closely with the council to offer businesses help with the application process and give practical advice on design and layout.
Leader and cabinet member for Economic Regeneration, Nicolas Heslop says: “Last year’s scheme saw some impressive enhancements to shopfronts in our town and district centres and given the level of interest, it makes sense to extend a similar scheme to smaller communities.
"I urge shop owners to make the most of this opportunity to enhance their businesses"
"In line with the council’s commitment to climate change I’m delighted we are including measures to improve energy efficiency within this new grant scheme.
"I urge shop owners to make the most of this opportunity to enhance their businesses and apply for a grant today.”
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.