Council bosses are urging business owners to make the most of new grants available as part of the Church Street revival project in Hartlepool.
Hartlepool Borough Council, as part of the multi-million regeneration of the area, is targeting improving shop fronts of ‘vacant and deteriorating buildings’.
Grants will be on offer for buildings at the lower end of Church Street, between Whitby Street and Mainsforth Terrace.
Two grants will be on offer, an Architectural Details Grant featuring a 90% grant rate up to £10,000 and a Building Grant with a 75% grant rate up to £20,000.
The Building Grant will be to support businesses or property owners looking to make their properties structurally sound, watertight, and repair and restore traditional details.
Meanwhile the Architectural Details Grant will focus on the repair and reinstatement of traditional shop fronts.
Subject to demand, grants will be targeted at properties in this area first and will be dealt with on a first come first served basis.
A report for the planning committee by Fiona Riley, Townscape Heritage Project Officer, said: “This area is of the highest priority due to the high levels of vacancy and deteriorating condition of these buildings.
“Discussions are ongoing with potential applicants to progress with collating information for applications.
“These grants provide an option to businesses to apply for a small grant to repair and decorate the front elevations of their premises.
“The take up of these grants is being actively encouraged as it will have a positive impact on the wider conservation area and complement the works of the Townscape Heritage project.”
The Townscape Heritage Project Officer has been in post since March 2018 and has been progressing with project delivery.
The main focus to date has been meeting with building owners and occupiers to discuss and develop potential grant schemes and evolving a detailed programme of activities.
It comes as part of the project which has seen Hartlepool Borough Council receive £1.1million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver a three year project to breathe new life into Church Street Conservation Area.
The project also includes work on the redevelopment of Church Square which will create a new public open space seating areas and pedestrian friendly surfacing.
Works have now started on site and are due to be completed by Autumn 2018.
For more information on the work the council has launched a website on the regeneration at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/churchstreetrevival.
A full update on the regeneration project is to be provided at the council planning committee meeting on Wednesday.
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service