Streetscape Heritage Scheme

– 1. The Opportunity
– 2. Scheme Objective
– 3. Application Stages
– 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 worked closely with the Department for Communities to develop the ‘Streetscape Heritage Scheme’, a grants based scheme, which offers businesses situated within the Lisburn Conservation Area, the opportunity to apply for a grant to improve their shop frontage.

The Lisburn Conservation Area will be used as a pilot to identify any potential for repeat schemes or expanding to other Conservation Areas.

2. Scheme Objective

The scheme aims to support businesses, whose shop fronts currently sit outside of planning regulations, from a heritage perspective, and help the businesses to replace their shop front façade and signage in order to conform to the guidelines as per the Lisburn Conservation area guide. The aim of the scheme is to create a more pleasing City Centre environment by improving heritage shop fronts, resulting in wider benefits for the public realm and civic pride.

3. Application Stages

Stage 1 – Expression of Interest

Applicants are given the opportunity to apply through an expression of interest process and if their submission meets the objective of the scheme they will be invited to submit a full application.

Deadline for Expressions of Interest – Monday, 18 October 2021.

Stage 2 – Full Application

Applicants will be assessed against the design standards outlined in Design guidance: Shop fronts and signage in conservation areas.

Full application will include the provision of: 

  • A proposal providing detailed information about the project/concept design including drawings 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.
  • Evidence of security of tenure (proof of property ownership/ lease).
  • Quotations for proposed works demonstrating value for money has been achieved.
  • Written Consent from property owner for the works outlined in the proposal and design.

Deadline for Full Applications – Wednesday, 24 November 2021

4. The Grant

This grant will be offered to small business owners with properties within the eligible area, to enhance the appearance and condition of their shop fronts and signage, making the Conservation Area which forms the heart of the Lisburn City Centre a more attractive place for both occupiers and visitors.

The grant funding is for up to 80% of the costs up to a total cost of £7,500 (ex VAT). Maximum funding available to each business will be £6,000 (ex VAT). This does not preclude applicants from carrying out additional enhancement works, however the extra costs incurred will not be covered by Council. Successful candidates must only carry out the works as agreed in advance of the release of funding from the Council.

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 on a first come, first serve basis.

5. Who can apply?

All businesses within the Lisburn Conservation Area are eligible to apply. Businesses must be situated within the eligible boundary of the Lisburn Conservation Area as outlined on the map below, which represents the historic core of Lisburn and consists of Seymour Street, Castle Street, Railway Street, part of Wallace Avenue, Bridge Street, Market Square and part of Bow Street. 

6. Who cannot apply?

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

  • Businesses who are not situated within Lisburn Conservation Area.
  • Businesses who have availed of a Shop Front Improvement Scheme Grant through the Council in the past 3 years, may not be eligible to receive a grant through this scheme
  • Sports clubs
  • Charities
  • Council buildings
  • Political organisations
  • Multi-national businesses

7. What can be funded?

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

  • Shop fronts
  • Signage
  • Lighting
  • Redecoration
  • Removal of wires etc.
  • Removal of inappropriate shutters or awnings

Proposals should seek to achieve a substantial visual improvement which is sympathetic to the Conservation Area, and complies with all regulations, permissions and shows consideration to the existing character and appearance of the conservation area as outlined in Design guidance: Shop fronts and signage in conservation areas.

This information is consistent with the Lisburn Conservation Area Guide.

Shop fronts and signs that are currently not complying with planning guidance are entitled 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 grant 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 that are purchased not following Council procurement guidelines
  • 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
  • Applications received after the closing date specified in the promotional literature
  • 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
  • Consideration may not be given to late applications

9. Statutory Consents

Fully consider if your proposal will require the following:

  • Planning permission – for the replacement or alteration of any shop front.
  • Advertising consent – for the replacement or alteration of any inappropriate 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 ascertain if any statutory consents are required, the relevant applications are made and to ensure that all approvals are legally complied with. A ‘Certificate of Lawful use or Development’ may be requested to prove that planning consent is not required if there is any uncertainty.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their all necessary statutory consents by Tuesday, 30th November 2021.

Please see below contact details for the relevant statutory departments:

Telephone: 028 9244 7300

Building Control
Telephone: 028 9244 7300

For further details, please refer to Design guidance: Shop fronts and signage in conservation areas.

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