FIFTY local businesses, including Coldstream’s Little Bethel Holiday Cottage, have been offered financial support from Scottish Borders Council this year through the popular Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme.
The scheme, which has now been running for three years, has allocated over £285,000 in total of grant aid to local traders. £100,000 has been allocated again this year and will be used to carry out a whole range of works next year from new signage, joinery work to repainting to brighten up our local town centres.
The initial project began as a pilot with £60,000 allocated in the first year in 2010/11. With such a strong initial response, the Council has agreed to continue the scheme annually since then.
SBC’s executive member for economic development, Councillor Stuart Bell commented: “I am delighted so many of our local town centre businesses are taking advantage of this scheme.
“It not only provides grant aid to local retailers and town centre businesses and improves the visual appearance of our town centres but it also has an important secondary impact on the local economy.
“Many local traders, such as painters, joiners, stonemasons and sign manufacturers have gained vital additional work. Much of the spend has gone directly into our local economy.”
Mid-Berwickshire Councillor John Greenwell, a resident of Coldstream, said he was pleased to see the town benefitting from the scheme.
He commented: “This is a project which I support whole heartedly SBC I know has put a lot of effort into helping our town centres to flourish in what is a difficult time financially. It is pleasing for me to see that a small Coldstream business has benefitted in the past from this fund, and I would encourage any high street business to apply for funding for any project to improve the look of our town centres.”