Council announces funding for shop owners in Knottingley
Wakefield Council is offering grants to business owners in Knottingley to make improvements to their shops.
A total of £91,000 is available to landlords and tenants, to help them restore the appearance and quality of their shop fronts. New tenants will also be able to use the money towards the cost of a refit or refurbishment, when taking over an empty property.
The Retail Enhancement Fund (REF) can help up to 17 businesses in Hill Top in Knottingley. Five have already been approved for grants and the Council is calling on other owners to do the same.
Councillor Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration said: "Knottingley is a key town in the Wakefield District and we are committed to working with partner organisations to develop a Vision for Knottingley which outlines our ambitions to regenerate the local area.
"This will provide a clear and positive impact to the local community because it will attract new businesses who can fill vacant properties and offer the local community a variety of services.
"I would encourage owners and tenants in the area to take advantage of the support being given by the Retail Enhancement Fund."
Ahead of the launch of the fund, the Council has been restoring the road in front of the shops, including filling the potholes and unblocking the drains to stop flooding.
To make it easier for shoppers, car parking bays have been painted outside the shops to allow more cars access to parking. The concrete bollards have been painted to improve the look of the area and to make it clean and tidy.
The Retail Enhancement Fund has already transformed businesses in Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford, bringing more people into the town and boosting new and existing trade.
Cllr Denise Jeffery added: "'An example of how the Council's REF scheme has made significant improvements is Pontefract where initial vacancy rates stood at 9.6% but have now fallen to just 6.7% in one year.'
"We will be doing all we can to ensure Knottingley follows the same trend."
The Council is contacting businesses in Knottingley to discuss grant applications