EREWASH Council is supercharging its crusade to rejuvenate its town centres as locals mourn the collapse of Wilko.
The authority is offering grants to attract new stores into empty retail units. The initiative was featured by ITV News as camera crews covered the last day of trading at Wilko in Long Eaton.
Days later Erewash’s other Wilko store – in Ilkeston’s Bath Street – was also shuttered (Monday, September 25).
Under the Empty Shop Signage Grant scheme, new stores opening in both main towns can get money to fund appealing frontages.
Councillor Alex Breene, who is Erewash’s Lead Member for Town Centres, Regeneration and Planning, said:
“We are determined to tackle the blight of retail units in our towns lying empty – and understand setting up a new shop is expensive.
“This scheme will help improve the attractiveness and vibrancy of our town centres – and shows that Erewash is well and truly open for business.”
The grants are not coming out of Council Tax but from government money allocated to the borough for levelling-up.
The Shared Prosperity Fund cash has to be spent on promoting growth and “pride in place”.
The shop sign grants are worth up to £2,000 each and aim to “enhance the street scene” as well as attracting new businesses. Details of how to apply are on the Erewash Borough Council website.