Top of the Town Grant Scheme
The council is offering local shops, traders, restaurants and businesses at the Top of the Town a helping hand to make improvements to their premises. If you’re a business in the area with a building in need of a facelift, you can apply for funding through the Top of the Town Grant Scheme for up to half of the cost of the work. You can also apply for a contribution towards an internal fit-out or a grant for a day of expert support worth £500 to help you grow your business or respond better to changing consumer habits.
The scheme, now in its third phase, aims to help rejuvenate the historic heart of Basingstoke and has now been expanded to offer business support. It is part of the Basingstoke Town Centre Programme and since September 2014, the council has successfully help to fund improvements to the appearance and quality of the buildings in the area, helping attract customers, increase sales and investments and contribute to the unique character and vibrancy of our local streets.
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How much funding is available?
Depending on the type of work required, we are able to offer the following funding:
- Up to £5,000 towards the external renovation or improvement of the ground floor and upper floor of the front of the building.
This grant will cover up to 50% of the cost up to a maximum of £5,000.
- Up to £7,500 towards the external renovation or improvement of the whole building to include the front, rear, side and all floors of the building. This grant will cover up to 50% of the cost up to a maximum of £7,500.
Businesses can also apply for:
- Up to £3,000 towards internal fit-outs. This grant will cover up to 50% of the cost up to a maximum of £3,000 and is primarily for the retail and hospitality trade.
- £500 for specialist business support or consultancy.
What building improvements can be made?
Not all building improvement works will be eligible for a grant. Here are some examples of proposed work that will qualify for the scheme:
- New shop fronts
- Repair and reinstatement of all or any part of a shop front fixture that is visible from the street, including the first and second floors of the premises where they are used for commercial activities
- Repainting of shop fronts in suitable colours
- External lighting
- Security grilles and/or security glazing
- Professional fees associated with the development and delivery of the project, including planning application fees, consultancy fees and advisory services.
- Repair of external stonework and brickwork
- Repair and reinstatement of guttering and down-pipes
- Internal fit-outs to business premises
- Whole building work
New work that changes the exterior of buildings may require planning permission. If you would like to discuss whether your proposals require planning approval please contact our planning team.
The Top of the Town is also within a conservation area. See the Basingstoke Town Conservation Area Management Plan for further guidance on the required design standards, materials and detailing.
Please note that grants will not be awarded for retrospective works.
What business support is available?
A day of expert business support worth £500 is available to help you grow your business or respond better to changing consumer habits. Specialist advice or consultancy can be arranged and tailored to suit your needs. Here are some examples of support you may wish to consider:
- Improving your digital retailing
- Visual merchandising and display (this may be useful if you are also having an internal fit-out)
- Customer service
- Improving sales
- General business support
Applications for business support must be made and approved by the council in advance.
Is there a deadline for applications?
The Top of the Town Grant Scheme was due to end 31 March 2018, but the scheme will now run until all the remaining funding has been allocated.
How to apply
Follow our application process:
- Contact Andy Dowling, Economic Development Officer at the council to find out if you're eligible.
Email email@example.com or telephone 01256 845359.
- Complete the Top of the Town Grant Scheme application form
Post it along with your proof of ownership or an owner consent letter to:
Economic Development Officer
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
Alternatively, you can scan it and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
For building improvement works or internal fit-outs, you will also need to supply three quotes and specify who your preferred supplier is. Other documents such as photographs, quotations and permissions (e.g. building control, planning or advertisement consent) may also need to be provided.
- Await our decision
Successful applicants will receive a formal letter detailing the grant offer and any conditions to be met by the shop or building owner.
- Accept the offer
Once you have accepted the offer and returned this in writing to the council, you can then appoint a contractor if you are undertaking building improvement work. Works may then commence, with the agreed contractors, once the relevant permissions have been approved. Regular quality checks will be carried out by the council.
If you have applied for business support, this will be fully funded and arranged by the council.
- Submit a claim for payment
For building improvement works, please include a covering letter or email, together with all receipted invoices to be paid. All works must be authorised by council officers before payment can be processed. This could take up to four weeks from the claim being received.
See the documents below for more information and guidance on the scheme, especially our Top of the Town Grant Scheme Terms and conditions.
If you would like advice on eligibility; help with completing the grant application or information on acceptable design and materials, please contact Andy Dowling, Economic Development Officer at the council on 01256 845359 or email email@example.com