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  • Grant application was ‘right move’ for new Lytham estate agent

Another Fylde business has benefitted from a special grant aimed at rejuvenating the borough’s town centres.

The ARG Vacant Premises Grant enables 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.

Jonathan Pritchard Estate Agents opened on Station Road earlier this month. With 10 years’ estate agency experience and a booming housing market, Jonathan launched the business online in January 2021.

With exciting plans for the future, he signed the lease for the Station Road premises in March and is currently putting the finishing touches to the interior decor.

He said: “The ARG Vacant Premises Grant has really helped us speed up the process of getting the business to where we want it to be.

“We are using most of our savings to cover the cost of the refurbishment of the premises, which needed a new ceiling, flooring and windows, so the additional funds have meant we can free up vital resources.

“We have been doing really well since January. We are committed to providing a high-level service that is customer focused – using new working practices and digital platforms to ensure all parties are fully engaged.

“The market is unbelievable at the moment; properties are selling very quickly and we believe that the lockdowns have really prompted people to re-evaluate their lives.

“The North West region is seeing high increases in property prices, so we are confident that the business will thrive.

“Fylde Council has been incredibly supportive during the entire application process and I would definitely recommend the grant to anyone that is thinking about starting a business or expanding their current operations.”

Lytham councillor, Michael Sayward, said: “It is wonderful to see another great business taking advantage of the ARG Vacant Premises Grant, which is just one of the ways the council is supporting the recovery of the local economy.

“Jonathan is very passionate about his business and it is that commitment, coupled with his vast experience, that will make this venture a true homegrown success.

“We are still receiving lots of excellent applications and we look forward to sharing more stories in the coming weeks and months.”

Businesses which meet the following key criteria can apply for the ARG Vacant Premises Grant between 1 March 2021 and 31 December 2021:

  • Moving or expanding into a vacant premise in the town centre
  • Offering an in-person service that would generate footfall
  • Is a small independent sole trader/operator or locally based chain
  • Premises must be in specific locations and include ground floor shop frontage

Applications will also be assessed on whether the business operates in a priority sector for the local economy which includes retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism and whether it fills a gap in the market to attract people to the town centres throughout the week.

The grant would also support costs from operating in a Covid-secure manner such as one-way systems, plastic screens, procurement of PPE and hygiene provisions, or employment of additional staff to manage Covid-secure measures.

Full terms and conditions and details about how to apply can be found at: https://new.fylde.gov.uk/ARGvacantpremises

For more information about Covid-19 support grants visit: https://new.fylde.gov.uk/covid-business-guidance/

 


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