Heritage Shop Front Scheme

– 1. The Opportunity
– 2. Scheme Objective
– 3. Application Process
– 4. The Grant
– 5. Who can apply?
– 6. Who cannot apply?
– 7. What can be funded?
– 8. What cannot be funded?
– 9. Statutory Consents
– 10. Apply Now

1. The Opportunity

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has developed a Heritage Shop Front Scheme funded through the COVID Recovery Small Settlements Regeneration Programme. The Scheme offers businesses situated within Hillsborough and Moira Conservation Area, the opportunity to apply for a grant to improve their shop frontage.

2. Scheme Objective

The scheme aims to support businesses, whose shop fronts currently sit outside of planning regulations, from a heritage perspective, and help businesses to sympathetically repair or if necessary replace their shop front façade and signage in order to conform to the conservation guidelines. The aim of the scheme is to create a more pleasing environment by improving heritage shop fronts, resulting in wider benefits for the public realm and civic pride.

3. Application Process

Please see below a timeline for the application process. Submissions will be processed as and when received. Therefore, the sooner you submit the required information the quicker you will move through the process.

Stage 1 – Expression of Interest

Applicants are given the opportunity to apply through an expression of interest process and are required to submit an estimated cost to undertake the works. If the submission meets the objective of the scheme they will be invited to submit an application.

Final Deadline for Expressions of Interest – Wednesday 26th July 2023 at 5pm

Stage 2 – Application

In order to progress this stage, the applicant will be required to provide further details of the proposed works.

Full application will include the provision of:

Confirmation of engagement with competent architect. Contact details must be provided.
3 written quotations for proposed works demonstrating value for money has been achieved.
Evidence of security of tenure and/or written consent from property owner.

If your application is successful, confirmation will be sent via email, detailing the amount of grant you are eligible for and match funding required. Your letter of offer will be issued to you upon receipt of your planning reference number.

Final Deadline for Applications – Wednesday 16th August 2023 at 5pm

Stage 3 – Letter of Offer

A letter of offer will be provided on provision of the following (provided via email):

Architectural drawings of the proposed heritage shop front and signage submitted to planning and planning reference number provided. Drawings should be shown to scale e.g. 1:100. To ensure clarity of shop front detail, include elevation drawings at a scale of 1:20 and section drawings at 1:10 as appropriate.

Final Deadline for Planning Submission & Reference Number – Wednesday 13th September 2023 at 5pm

We understand that this process can be lengthy so please allow for time to consult with planning and provide final drawings in order to secure planning approval.

4. The Grant

This grant will be offered to small business owners with properties within the Hillsborough or Moira Conservation Area, to enhance the appearance and condition of their shop fronts and signage, making the Conservation Area a more attractive place for both occupiers and visitors.

Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to 80% - maximum £12,500 (ex VAT).

You must demonstrate your contribution of a minimum 20% of the overall costs (ex VAT) has been paid.

In order to receive the maximum grant, your certified paid invoices must equate to at least £15,625. (ex VAT).

For example;

Total project spend - £15,625 – Grant - £12,500 (ex VAT).

Total project spend - £12,500 – Grant - £10,000 (ex VAT).

Following the Expression of Interest stage, the Council will evaluate the submissions and invite successful applicants to submit an application.

When the Stage 2 - Application Process closes, council will be in a position to confirm the grant funding level that will be offered. This will be based on the quotations submitted at Stage 2.

Funding will be offered on a percentage of the total costs of the work as detailed above. The funding amount will be clearly detailed in the letter of offer.

Please note the grant funding will be for works only excluding VAT. Professional and statutory fees are not funded through this scheme.

It is expected there will be a high demand for the funding and regrettably the Council will only be able to support a proportion of the expressions of interest received. Funding will be assessed and awarded cognisant of the heritage guidelines.

5. Who can apply?

All businesses within the villages of Hillsborough and Moira are eligible to apply. While priority will be given to businesses situated within the Conservation Area (outlined on the maps below), all businesses situated within the village boundary will be considered eligible.

Map of Royal Hillsborough Conservation Area

Map of Moira Conservation Area

6. Who cannot apply?

In general, the following will not be eligible to apply for funding:

  • Businesses who are not situated within the village boundary of Hillsborough or Moira
  • Sports Clubs
  • Public Buildings
  • Political Organisations
  • Multiples

7. What can be funded?

Funding is available for the repair and replacement (where appropriate) of:

  • Shop fronts (requiring full planning permission)
  • Signage (requiring advertising consent)
  • Lighting (may require full planning permission)
  • Re-painting (may require listed building consent)
  • Removal of wires etc.
  • Removal of inappropriate shutters or awnings

Proposals should undertake improvements which are sympathetic to the Conservation Area, and comply with all regulations, permissions and show consideration to the existing character and appearance of the Conservation Area as outlined in the accompanying ‘Shop Fronts & Signage in Conservation Areas – Design Guidance Leaflet’.

Shop fronts and signs that are currently not yet in compliance with planning guidance are encouraged to apply.

8. What cannot be funded?

In general, the following will not be eligible for funding:

  • Any costs or projects which are clearly another statutory agency’s responsibility or costs that can be claimed back from elsewhere e.g. VAT cannot be funded
  • Costs incurred prior to a letter of offer from Council (retrospective funding)
  • Professional and statutory fees including planning consents, building control and legal fees or any costs incurred in obtaining quotes in preparation of applications
  • Loan Repayments
  • Consultancy fees
  • Costs towards ongoing running costs/ cash/flow (e.g. electricity, rent, rates, insurance etc.)
  • Costs towards banking charges and / or repayment of debt.
  • Costs which are not clearly linked to the project
  • Costs that are assessed as poor value for money, or have not followed the scheme guidance
  • Costs that are already covered by other funding or income sources
  • Costs which are deemed excessive by Council’s QS advisor
  • Cash expenditure will not be eligible for refund from Council
  • Salary costs will not be funded
  • Alcohol, gratuities, gifts and prizes will not be funded
  • Purchase of stock for general trading purposes
  • Costs relating to transportation/vehicles

Council reserves the right to reject late applications

9. Statutory Consents

Your proposal may require at least one the following:

  • Planning Permission – for the replacement or alteration of any shop front.
  • Advertising Consent – for the replacement or alteration of any sign.
  • Conservation Area Consent – where a proposal includes demolition of for example the existing shop.
  • Listed Building Consent – where the property concerned is a listed building.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to secure and provide evidence of all necessary statutory consents and to ensure legal compliance with all approvals. A ‘Certificate of Lawful use or Development’ may be necessary to prove that planning consent is not required if there is any uncertainty.

Applicants are encouraged to submit all necessary statutory consents as soon as possible.

Please see below contact details for the relevant statutory departments:

Telephone: 028 9244 7300
Email: planning@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk

Building Control
Telephone: 028 9244 7300
Email: building.control@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk

For further details, please refer to the accompanying Shop Fronts & Signage in Conservation Areas – Design Guidance Leaflet’.

10. Apply now

To apply for the grant, please complete and return the Stage 1 - Expression of Interest form:

Download the Expression of Interest form