With the effects of CoVid still being felt right throughout the business community up and down the country, and, indeed across the world. Efforts are being focussed on supporting and improving things for our towns, villages and cities.
Welsh Government have set up a grant which has just gone live which aims to support those in the retail food industry. A press release was made by Monmouthshire County Council relating to this yesterday;
Funded by the Welsh Governments Transforming Towns Programme, the ‘Covid 19 – Town Centre Outdoor Adaptation Grant’ provides funding of up to 80% of total improvement costs – up to a maximum value of £8,000. A minimum of 20% of the total project costs will need to be met by the applicant.
The funding supports improvements that facilitate social distancing in external areas where customers and members of the public are to congregate, be served food, drink or rest.
By providing grant support it will support businesses in meeting the challenges of social distancing whilst improving the presentation and amenity of our town centres.
The grant, which is for a maximum of £8,000 (with 20% being provided from the business applying) will enable those who run such businesses as cafes, takeaways, sandwich shops, coffee shops and other related businesses to place outdoor seating areas, planters, canopies, awnings, lighting and heating in the town centre.
The aim of this is to encourage social distancing rules are kept in place, but also to allow customers to Visit Monmouthshire, and in our case Caldicot, in a safe, pleasant and attractive manner. It has been widely reported that the virus is less prevalent in the open air as opposed to within confined spaces and we want to help not just those businesses listed above, but the whole town centre, by allowing our customers and visitors to spend more time in our town.
Caldicot Town Team have been in touch with local eateries to discuss the options that may be available and best suited to them. With positive conversations taking place in the town it is very hopeful that businesses will take up this grant offer and work with us and Monmouthshire County Council to create a better atmosphere within our town centre.
At this point, basic design plans have been drawn up to give some scope to how these seating areas, parklets and outdoor dining areas could look and we are having active conversations with businesses about what options are best suited.
All businesses who wish to apply for a grant will need to fill in the Expression Of Interest form in the first instance, once you have received confirmation that you are eligible to apply for the grant, you will need to progress to the application form.
We are keen to promote the use and added benefits that businesses may have if they work together and with each other on plans, there is a cluster of eateries in the town centre and it makes both financial and economical sense for those to work alongside each other, we have already approached businesses to working in partnership and will be continuing to do this moving forward.
Businesses within the Central Shopping Area, as defined by the map below are all eligible to submit an expression of interest for futher information on the grant.
The full press release from Monmouthshire County Council can be found here:https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/town-grants/