The commercial centres of Horwich End and Whaley Bridge lie within a conservation area. Within these areas, the appearance of shop fronts and the pavement areas in front of them, have a considerable impact and influence on the character of the town. They are an essential element of the wider streetscape. A shop front designed with respect given to the architecture of the building and character of the surrounding area can add charm and vitality, making it attractive to shoppers and visitors alike.
The shop front facelift scheme aims to improve shop fronts, building facades and the private pavement areas in front of these shops , as a means of supporting the growth of local businesses, improving the local environment and raising the image of the town amongst locals and visitors. Everyone benefits through sensitive design.
FUNDING and ADMINISTRATION
The facelift scheme is administered by Whaley4Wards with the support of Whaley Bridge Town Council and the regeneration and economic development group within High Peak Borough Council.
Funding for the scheme comes from the Whaley4Wards annual £8000 regeneration budget, which is provided in equal part by Whaley Bridge Town Council (£4000) and High Peak Borough Council(£4000). W4W allocate a percentage of this budget towards the shopfront scheme each year, and this can be increased if funds allow. Grant applications will be decided on by a subpanel of the Whaley4Wards group.
Grants will be awarded to a maximum of around £1,000, which must be match-funded by the applicant. Grants are payable against materials and labour, but do not cover any VAT element. W4W works with the High Peak Borough Council Conservation Officer , Joanne Brooks, and the applicant to agree on a colour scheme and on the detail of works, to ensure that the conservation area is enhanced as an outcome of the works. Our experience so far shows that this can be an extremely effective and mutually beneficial relationship, which can all be done quickly via email or phone. Once works are agreed and completed, a final inspection is carried out to check that works were done as agreed, and then payment is made by cheque against the invoices up to the amount agreed. Colours must be appropriately chosen from the Little Greene ‘Colours of England’ range, although there is no compulsion to source the paint from this company, and a very close match is sufficient.
For larger projects, interested parties could also consider HPBC’s Heritage Regeneration grants which target shopfront improvements in town and village centres and for which funding is available up to £10000. Contact Joanne Brooks at HPBC on 03451297777 for details on this scheme.