The ARG Grants paid by Fylde Council continue to help new businesses set up shop across the Borough, following the final payments made in March 2022.

Carly and Steve Wellings, the owners of S Lawrence Jewellers at 12 Wood Street, St Annes, FY8 1QS, received a grant of £10,000 towards the set-up, shop fitting and branding costs of their new premises in the town centre. Their doors opened in early August after the completion of the refit, and Steve says they’ve been delighted with the support provided by the Council, the Mayor, and the Town Council.

Steve explained: “We visited St Annes and fell in love with the town – it’s such a friendly, lovely place, and we immediately knew that we wanted to retire here. When the opportunity came up to purchase a premises here, we just had to take it.”

The couple have dozens of years of experience between them in the jeweller’s profession, having co-owned a store in Warrington for ten years and working there under the previous owners for decades before that. The grant of £10,000 helped Carly and Steve realise their dream, turning the premises into a gorgeous jewellery emporium offering a broad range of pieces, a workshop for repairs and alterations, and a clean, welcoming aesthetic, including beautiful photography of the local area taken by their daughter Emily.

Councillor Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, said: “It has been wonderful to be able to help new businesses establish themselves throughout the borough.  The latest addition to St Annes to bring a high street jeweller back to the town centre is very exciting and I wish Carly and Steve every success.  I’m proud of the assistance we have been able to provide through the numerous COVID-related grants to the recovery of our local economy and the livelihoods of our residents.”

The Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) represented several tranches of funding made available to eligible local businesses, charities and community groups throughout the pandemic under central government’s COVID relief schemes. The ARG Vacant Premises Grant, for example, enabled businesses locating to, or expanding into, vacant town centre premises to apply to receive 50 per cent of the set-up, shop fit, refit or branding costs at a value of up to £10,000. All payments were made by 31 March 2022.

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to the present day, Fylde Council awarded over £33 million through central government grant schemes to 1600+ businesses, plus over £4 million in discretionary awards to 700+ local organisations. The final central government schemes closed on 31 March 2022.


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