Shop Improvement Grant Scheme to be made available to more local businesses

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Wakefield Council has expanded a scheme to improve the external appearance of some shops in Wakefield city centre, allowing more businesses to take advantage of grants.

The Cathedral Square Shop Improvement Grant Scheme offers businesses on Bread Street, Cross Square and Little Westgate up to £12,000 to improve the frontage of shops. The scheme aims to improve the area and help support a vibrant place for independent businesses to thrive.

The Cathedral Square project, part of the Council’s City Centre Masterplan, will also create a larger central point in the city centre, with new spaces for outdoor events and improved pedestrian links. The project includes the demolition of two buildings to widen the square and offer better views of Wakefield Cathedral.

“The Cathedral Square project is just one of the ways we are making Wakefield more enticing to visitors. That is why we are covering all the bases with great looking shops to complement the new outdoor space.

“The expansion of the grant scheme shows our commitment to supporting businesses in the city centre. I encourage everyone that is eligible to apply for a grant.”

Cllr Michael Graham

Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth

Cllr Michael Graham

Shops within a designated area can apply for a grant from the Council to cover 100% of the cost of work up to a maximum of £12,000.

Grants can be used for external improvements, including repairing, or restoring a traditional façade, new or improved signage, and security improvements.

The grant scheme, initially launched to businesses on Bread Street, has now been widened.

The Cathedral Square project, including the shop improvement grant scheme, is part of Wakefield’s £24.1m Towns Deal from the Government. Funding for this project expires on 31 March 2026.

More details about the scheme and the application process are available at

This is just one of a number of schemes available to help support the district’s high streets. The High Street Investment Fund will soon be available to businesses and landlords in both Wakefield and Castleford. More details will be coming soon.

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