New projects to improve town centres
Town centres across South Ayrshire are set to receive a welcome boost, following the Council's backing of a new programme to improve shopping environments, while supporting local businesses and tradespeople.
Having secured £382,000 from the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund, the Council has approved a number of initiatives across South Ayrshire's five towns – Troon, Prestwick, Ayr, Maybole and Girvan – in an effort to support town centres through the significant challenges they currently face.
The main project is a shopfront scheme which will provide 100% grants of up to £3,000 to business owners, to refurbish or improve their existing shopfront. Business owners are being encouraged to hire local tradespeople - many of whom have been hit hard by the pandemic - to undertake the improvement works where possible.
Other supporting projects include high level cleaning on main streets to remove vegetation and clear gutters, installing attractive graphics in vacant shop windows, and also considering opportunities for improved or new public art.
Councillor Siobhian Brown, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Culture and Economy, said: "The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought immense pressure on businesses across each of South Ayrshire's town centres as they face the challenges of lockdowns and social distancing.
"The Council has been actively supporting the Scotland Loves Local campaign in an effort to encourage people to think local first and support our town centres and high streets. Now these new projects will offer further support to our retailers by improving the attractiveness of our town centres and making them a more pleasant place for shoppers to visit.
"Equally, the new town centre programme will help stimulate the local construction industry, with painters, electricians, joiners, glaziers, as well as graphic designers, all set to be called upon to carry out the shopfront improvements.
"Each of our town centres has much to offer, with a wide range of independent shops and services. We're pleased to be able to continue to show them our support in this way and help to make South Ayrshire work."
The new shop front grants are open now via the Council's AMBITION programme. For more information and to apply please visit www.ambitionprogramme.co.uk/town-centres