Building Repair and Shop Front Improvement Grants now available for Chard building owners and tenants
As part of the Chard High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), owners of properties in Chard town centre can now apply for a grant to help renovate and revitalise their frontages.
With almost the entire town centre of Chard being designated a conservation area, improving the condition of its buildings is an important part of its regeneration.
The HSHAZ Building Repair and Shop Front Improvement Grant Scheme is now open, with grants available for up to 70% of eligible costs for the repair and renovation of historic buildings and shop fronts. The Scheme will run until March 2024 with applications accepted until 1st September 2023.
We encourage owners of town centre properties, or tenants responsible for maintenance, to view the Grant Scheme Guidance, which includes details on eligibility and how to apply.
Those who are eligible for grants are invited to contact our Chard HSHAZ Project Manager, Anna Matthews, for an initial conversation to discuss their potential project. After this, applicants will be required to complete an application form.
Anna Matthews, Chard HSHAZ Project Manager,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 01935 462958.
Cllr Jason Baker, Portfolio Holder for Chard Regeneration, said, “We are very pleased to be able to support local businesses with the repair and rejuvenation of their premises. An attractive shop front will help drive visitors to businesses and repairs to front elevations will improve the experience of the high street as a whole. We hope that all eligible property owners or tenants take up this time-limited opportunity.”
Fore Street and Holyrood Street, Chard
Similar grant schemes have taken place across the country, including Falmouth High Street. Here is what business owners from Falmouth had to say after the renovation:
“Trade has always been steady with regular customers but now the building looks more attractive this obviously appeals to new customers and is exciting”
“This is one of the best things we have done business wise”
“Trade has definitely increased, as a result of the works, within our building and the town. The works completed by the scheme has uplifted Falmouth which is now a well visited town throughout the year”
To help ensure that shop fronts in Chard are suited to the town’s character, a formal consultation for a new Chard Shop Front Design Guide is also currently underway. Everyone with an interest in Chard’s town centre is invited to share their views on the draft guide before 21 January 2022. More information, including how to take part, is available here: www.southsomerset.gov.uk/news/2021/12/a-new-shop-front-design-guide-for-chard-have-your-say/
The latest updates on the Chard Regeneration Programme, including the grant scheme, are available online at www.chardregeneration.co.uk.
What is the Chard High Street Heritage Action Zone?
Because of its special historic character, Chard has been designated a High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) and secured £2m funding to revitalise its town centre. Over £1m of government high streets funding from Historic England has been matched by more than £1m by South Somerset District Council. These funds are being invested in making lasting physical improvements that enhance the historic high street.
The High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme is a national programme of £95 million investment across more than 60 English high streets, with £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Streets Fund, and a further £3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The HSHAZ programme for Chard has three strands – public realm improvements (that is, the pedestrian areas of the street), grants for the repair and renovation of historic buildings and shopfronts, and community engagement activity. Additional funding has been secured by a consortium of local cultural and community organisations, to deliver a cultural programme (see note below).
The aim of Chard’s High Street Heritage Action Zone is to make the high street a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and spend time. We want everyone to be as involved as possible in the scheme, and in the future of Chard’s town centre.
About Historic England
We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation.
We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.
High Streets Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme
The ‘Culturally Chard’ consortium, led by Somerset Art Works and Chard Town Council, has been awarded £80,000 as part of the national £7.4 million HSHAZ Cultural Programme which is currently working across over 60 English high streets. Cultural activity funded by this grants scheme will take place over the next three years, co-ordinated by the consortium members and delivered by local organisations. Culturally Chard will bring new activity to the town centre and encourage people to connect to the unique heritage of Chard’s high street in creative ways. For more details visit www.culturallychard.org.