£115k funding given to businesses to help bring Scunthorpe town centre buildings back to life

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 23 Jan 2018

Funding worth more than £115,000 has been granted to help businesses bring buildings in Scunthorpe town centre back to life as part of a council scheme.

A total of 22 premises have so far benefited from North Lincolnshire Council's Viable and Vibrant Places Fund, which was designed to help fund projects giving a new lease of life to underused buildings in the town centre.

The fund was started in 2016, with grants of up to £20,000 on offer. So far, a total of £115,439 has been awarded through the scheme.

Among the businesses to benefit so far is Old Registry Vets, which took over the council's firmer Scunthorpe Register Office building on Oswald Road and secured £12,000 from the fund towards converting it into a veterinary practice.

David Mayhew, veterinary surgeon at the practice, said: "Getting funding from the Viable and Vibrant Places Fund has made a significant difference to getting Old Registry Vets started.

"It has made an important contribution to our ability to convert this beautiful building into a viable business, providing an important service to the people of Scunthorpe and the surrounding areas.

David Mayhew of Old Registry Vets, pictured with Frapple

"Using a well-known building on Oswald Road in the centre of town has been important to raising our profile, but the costs associated with conversion were initially daunting.

"We have been able to renovate the building to a much greater extent than would have been possible without this help and as a result have been able to employ more staff than we initially expected.

Read more: Funding support event takes place in northern Lincolnshire next month

"Our fledgling business seems to be going well so far and our client base is constantly increasing.

"We would like to thank North Lincolnshire Council and of course all the people who have entrusted us with the care of their pets for their vote of confidence in Old Registry Vets."

Another project to secure funding through the scheme is the Scunthorpe Post Office, on High Street, where sisters Andrea Stafford and Mary Stewart received a grant to help transform the former shop unit, ready to open in August last year.

Scunthorpe Post Office is among the businesses to receive a grant from North Lincolnshire Council's Viable and Vibrant Places Fund. Staff member Lydia is pictured with council leader Rob Waltham

Andrea said: "We first sought premises in January 2016 to relocate the Post Office and the High Street seemed the perfect place.

"In early March 2016 we were advised of the Viable and Vibrant Places Fund. We applied for a grant and were successful in obtaining funding from the scheme. This enabled us to enhance the customer area and refurbish the property to a higher standard which, without the grant, may not have been achieved.

"We would like to thank the council for their help and continued support to date."

Across 14 projects, the Viable and Vibrant Places Fund has helped bring eight residential properties and 14 retail units back into use.

Read more: Campaign to bring in jobs and investment launched in North Lincolnshire

Among the businesses to have benefitted from the fund include Whitegates Estate Agents, Mrs Potts Tearoom, Deejays Menswear, Mi Living, Holls Lighting and Raven Hair Design.

And a full grant of £20,000 was awarded to help fund the conversion of the former Yorkshire Bank on High Street into two retails units and three apartments.

Council leader Rob Waltham said: "The Viable and Vibrant Places Fund is just one part of our plans to transform Scunthorpe town centre and the positive effects of the grant scheme aren't just from the £115,000 we have invested.

"Together with other funding secured for these projects from the private sector, these regeneration works represent almost £750,000 worth of investment in the town centre.

"Bringing back into use empty retail and commercial units and residential properties also has a ripple effect in the surrounding area and we've seen other projects crop up as a direct result of nearby investment."

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Source article: http://www.scunthorpetelegraph.co.uk/

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