Why is cash for facelifts to Sleaford shop fronts going unspent?

Shopfronts already improved by the shop front facelift grants in Sleaford, but why have more landlords not taken up the cash offer? EMN-180417-102140001
Shopfronts already improved by the shop front facelift grants in Sleaford, but why have more landlords not taken up the cash offer? EMN-180417-102140001

Time is running out for Sleaford business owners to apply for grant funding to help restore historic shop fronts in the town.

As a three-year heritage initiative aimed at smartening up Sleaford’s central Conservation Area draws to a close, grants of up £25,000 are still available from a six-figure pot of cash still remaining. But the fund is only available until the end of the summer.

Expressions of interest should ideally be made as soon as possible, by the end of May.

Already the Tudor-style building in the Market Place has benefitted, where the upper floor façade has been improved and restored and historic awnings repaired and replaced, and work is underway at another high profile building in the Market Place to restore and re-instate the historic frontage as part of a bigger project. However, for whatever reason, more landlords have not been forthcoming.

Made up of £150,000 from Historic England, £150,000 from NKDC and £15,000 from Sleaford Town Council, the fund can meet up to 60 per cent of the cost of repairs and support and 80 per cent of reinstatement costs.

A variety of works are eligible for grant funding up to £25,000 per building, including the reinstatement of historic shop fronts, repairs to windows, rainwater goods and roofs, etc, all carried out to a high standard.

The scheme – which has also been successful in Grantham and Derby – is offered by Historic England to facilitate improvements to historic buildings and to reverse the deterioration of the character which makes Sleaford distinct and special.

Heritage-led regeneration has been shown to bring economic and social benefits to local areas, and business owners within the Market Place, Northgate and Southgate areas are encouraged to seek advice about the possibilities which the grant can offer.

Coun Richard Wright, NKDC Council Leader with special interest in economic matters said: “Our aim is to support property owners in bringing forward relatively minor restorative works which will have a significant positive, instant and lasting impact on the town’s appeal on all levels, especially for visitors, shoppers and inward investors.”