Mansfield District Council has reopened the application process for town centre businesses to apply for grant support to improve shop fronts and enhance their building’s design quality.

The Mansfield Townscape Heritage Project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and delivered in partnership with Mansfield BID, Vision West Nottinghamshire College and Nottinghamshire County Council, focuses on parts of Leeming Street, limited properties on Stockwell Gate and the Market Place conservation area.

The project forms part of a wider vision by the council to improve the appearance and vibrancy of the town centre and to put Mansfield on the map as a great place to live, work, invest and visit.

Following a pause in the scheme’s delivery due to the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and inflationary pressures, the council is now working with Focus Consultants to encourage property owners to review the project and consider the opportunity to apply.

The circa £1.3m scheme helps landlords, property owners, and businesses with a lease that has at least ten years left to run to carry out property repairs and refurbishments to enhance the architectural quality of the buildings.

Councillor Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: “Property owners will be able to apply for co-funded grants of up to 75 percent to help with the cost of making improvements, which are in sympathy with their building’s heritage.

“The long-term strategy is to try to help Mansfield meet the challenges of the changing face of the high streets – a phenomenon happening across Britain – by encouraging more independent retailers and making the centre as much a place for socialising, entertainment and living in, as it is a place for shopping.

“The council already provides business start-up, growth and shop front improvement grants to help reduce vacancy rates and encourage more independent retailers to the town and works with our partners to support established businesses to grow. The support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and their patience over the past few years is hugely welcomed. We are delighted to be working with Focus and our town centre partners to bring the project forward. 

“Times have changed significantly since the scheme was started, yet the funding pot remains, and we want to ensure everyone is given a fair opportunity to access this vital funding.”

Jay Rowlinson, CEO of Mansfield BID, added: “We are delighted that the Townscape Heritage Programme is being given a boost, and we fully encourage our town centre businesses and the property owners to engage in exploring the support that may be available.

“This is another important part of the town centre jigsaw, to create a place that is valued, appreciated and attracts new investment.”

Throughout the project’s delivery, there have been work experience opportunities for volunteers and students to learn about conservation and restoration skills as well as opportunities to be involved in film, story-telling, street theatre, art and photography activities, celebrating efforts to return one of Mansfield’s most elegant shopping areas to its former glory.

If your property is within the defined Townscape Heritage area and you would like to discuss eligibility for the project, please fill out the expression of interest form here (opens in new window). 

Please download the form and, when completed, send it to Jasmine Chell-Wallis at Focus Consulting – [email protected].

The deadline for applications to be received is Sunday 16 July 2023.

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