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Shop Front Grant Scheme

Shop Front Grant Scheme


Shop Front Grant Scheme 2014


Barrow Borough Council opened a new Shop Front Grant Scheme with effect from 16th October, 2014.  This replaces all previous schemes.  The new scheme covers specific streets in Barrow Town Centre, Dalton-in-Furness Town Centre and Askam-in-Furness and £120,000 has been allocated to the scheme by the Council.

The scheme is targeted at small retailers and is open to small independent businesses only with less than 50 employees.  To be eligible for a grant, the work proposed must enhance the property.  It is not a grant for day to day maintenance.

This scheme is targeted at small retailers where modest investment can yield maximum benefit.  Grants can cover new windows, exterior treatment, vinyl for windows, fascias, signage, lighting, but are only available to improve the principle trading elevation or elevations of the property.   Security shutters and canopies will not be eligible. 


1.       Businesses with properties  in the following streets:


  • Market Street, Tudor Square and 19 Nelson Street


  • Duke Street from Ramsden Square to Schneider Square
  • Abbey Road from Ramsden Square to Rawlinson Street
  • Portland Walk, Dalton Road from Abbey Road to Schneider Square
  • Crellin Street from Rawlinson Street to Dalton Road
  • Cavendish Street from Rawlinson Street to Duke Street
  • Buccleuch Street from Dalton Road to Dalkeith Street
  • Rawlinson Street from Abbey Road to Greengate Street
  • Scott Street, The Mall, Dalkeith Street, William Street, Paxton Street


  • Duke Street from Duddon Road to Beach Street

2.       SMEs employing less than 50 people across all branches

3.       Core town centre retail businesses open between 9 am and 5 pm all week

This includes cafes, hair and beauty and Opticians.  Restaurants must open at lunchtime at least 5 days per week.

The following businesses are not eligible under this scheme, professional services i.e. solicitors, estate agents, financial advisers, accountants, architects, Veterinary, GP or dental practices;  pubs, nightclubs or social clubs; amusement arcades or bookmakers; hotels or B&Bs;  fast food/takeaways;  vehicle sales/garages or  taxi offices

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Units must be occupied  – property owners/developers can not apply for grants to improve property on a speculative basis to sell or rent.
  2. Applications can be from owner or tenant.  Tenancy agreements must be valid for at least 12 months  from the date of application and a copy of the lease must accompany the application form.
  3. Scheme must be a shop front enhancement (not just a sign).  Owners/occupiers of Listed buildings can apply to restore/retain features of architectural merit
  4. Projects must be well designed with professional design input and all applications must comply with and embrace the spirit of Barrow Borough Council's Supplementary Planning Document Shop front and Advertisement Design November 2010
  5. Grants will cover exterior finish, windows, doors, signage, guttering on retail elevation only.  Shutters, blinds and awnings are not eligible for grants.
  6. Properties which have previously had a shop front grant under the 2010 scheme are not eligible unless there is a new owner/tenant.
  7. Properties which have previously had a shop front grant under the 2012 scheme are not eligible.
  8. No retrospective applications permitted.


The applicant pays 25% of the cost of the approved scheme and the Council 75% of approved expenditure.

Guidance on Planning Consent and Building Regulations

It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain any prior planning permissions or building regulations, and you should seek advice from the relevant department at the Town Hall – see below. Grant applications for unauthorised works will not be considered.  Any fees incurred will be reimbursed as part of this grant.

Planning Considerations

Planning permission is required for works that involve a change in the appearance of the shop front and it is important that early discussions are held with council planning officers in order to ascertain the suitability of your scheme.  There is a formal development plan policy relating to shop fronts. However, the broad thrust of the Council’s approach is to provide well designed shop fronts to match particular local circumstances. Tighter controls apply in conservation areas and for listed buildings. 

The Council has adopted a Supplementary Planning Document, "Shop front and Advertisement Design", to promote good quality design in the Borough. It provides practical guidance to both retailers and those involved in planning decision making.

Building Regulations

Building Regulation Approval will only be needed for any work requiring structural alterations or changes to the shop front that would affect the means of escape or would alter the access provisions for people with disabilities.  As the Building regulations are complex it is recommended that you have a chat with the Building Control Office


Please complete the Shop Front Grant application form and Submit your design (you must have professional design input  - this could be an architect, Designer, signage company)  and submit quotations with 3 prices for the work.  This should include a before and after image of the property.  Applicants must engage with the Council’s planning department  and, where necessary, apply for the any planning consents or building regulation approvals.  Your application will be acknowledged and your designs and quotations will be considered.  No work should commence until you are given written approval for the scheme.

Claw back

If your property is sold or the business closes within 2 years, grants must be repaid on sliding scale.  Up to 12 months 50% of grant monies repaid, up to 18 months 25% of grant monies repaid

For further information and an application form contact:

Barrow Business Improvement District