Shop Front Grants Scheme 2021
Following the success of last year’s scheme, Laois County Council is delighted to announce the launch of the Shop Front Grant Improvement and Accessibility Scheme for 2021.
Who/What Types of Buildings are Eligible for these Grants?
- Owners or Leaseholders of Retail or Commercial Premises. Leaseholders must obtain permission of the owner if required by their lease contract (any community groups operating with the written consent of the owner may also be considered)
- Independently-owned shops or commercial premises – not part of a franchise or chain
- Ground floor premises fronting onto a public road
- Premises zoned Town/Village Centre; in the case of Portlaoise premises zoned Town Centre Primary
Objectives of the Grant Scheme
- To support the vitality and vibrancy of Laois Town and Village Centres
- To enhance the appearance of retail and commercial premises in Laois Town and Village Centres
What costs will the grant cover?
- Works that relate to the shopfront
- Works that are sympathetic to the character and appearance of the building and street – having regard to planning law requirements and in particular Architectural Conservation Area and Protected Structure designations.
- Where the works are being undertaken by the owner, grant assistance will be provided towards the cost of materials only
- Works might include the repair of damaged/degraded parts of softwood shopfronts; general repair works; repainting of shopfronts or repainting of fascia advertisements; replacement of fascia advertisements or projecting advertisements with more sympathetic advertisements; removal of roller-shutter blinds and installation of security glass or more sympathetic internal shuttering.
- A Shopfront and Streetscape Policy Document including photographic examples of good shopfront design is available on laois.ie
- The grant shall not exceed 50% of the overall cost and is subject to a maximum grant of €750 per unit
- The grant will be increased to a maximum of €1,000 where applications include accessibility works (e.g. accessibility ramps and railings).
- Note: If the fund is oversubscribed, preference will be given to proposals that have the most potential to improve the appearance or the vitality and vibrancy of Laois Towns and Villages
Do I need planning permission?
Many of the works that might be proposed may not need planning permission; however you should consult the Council to clarify. Applicants may make an application for the grant in advance of obtaining planning permission (if required) and where successful will receive an offer of funding in principle. However, where permission is required, approved works cannot start until a final grant of planning permission is received.
When will I receive the grant?
The grant will be payable after completion and final inspection by a Council official and when all terms are complied with. All works must be completed before 30th September 2021.
Are there other financial terms to comply with before I get paid?
Costs will also have to be verified (submission of receipts/incurred expense) prior to the payment of the grant. The applicant must either have paid rates in full or be in compliance with a payment plan/agreement regarding rates.
Can I reapply if I have previously been approved for funding?
Businesses who have been approved for the scheme in the previous 3 year period cannot reapply.
How do I apply?
- Fill out the Shop Front Improvement & Accessibility Grant Scheme Application 2021 & submit other required documents specified at the end of the application form (e.g. written builder’s/ tradesman’s estimate).
- Email the completed application form and other required documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alternatively post your application form and supporting documents to Business Support Unit, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, JFL Avenue, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
Any queries in relation to the scheme should be directed to: Linda Meredith, Business Support Unit, (057) 8664133, email@example.com