Hereford City Centre Shopfront Improvement grant scheme

Aims of the Hereford City Centre Shopfront improvement grant scheme

The Hereford city centre shopfront improvement grant scheme aims to:

  • Enhance the visual appearance of the retail shopping areas
  • Increase footfall in the city centre by making the shopfronts more attractive to shoppers
  • Complement the wider public realm improvement works in Hereford city centre

What the grant can be used for

The grant can contribute towards expenditure including the following:

  • Replacement shop front, windows and doors
  • Reinstatement of traditionally styled shop fronts, sash windows and doors
  • Painting of existing shop fronts and upper floors (including render)
  • Replacement gutter and downpipes
  • Replacement signage
  • Internal security grilles

Please discuss your ideas with the grant team.

Who is eligible to apply

To be eligible to apply for the grant you must be:

  • An existing independent retailer who would like to replace or improve your shop front
  • A tenant or the owner of the building. If you are a tenant you must provide written consent from the landlord as well as a copy of the tenancy agreement (minimum length of tenancy is 2 years)

Eligible properties must be:

  • Retail businesses that already occupy premises or ones that are currently empty and being renovated to be occupied by an eligible business as defined above
  • Retail units which have a ground floor and street facing frontage
  • Located within the eligible area of Hereford City Centre

Certain types of businesses are excluded from applying for this grant and these include: pawn brokers, adult/private shops, betting shops, charity shops, vaping shops, licenced premises (where the consumption of alcohol is permitted), national and international chain stores. Residential properties are also excluded from this scheme.

Value of the grant

Up to 80% of eligible project costs can be funded up to a maximum grant value of £80,000. Minimum grant requests must exceed £10,000. Grant funding is paid in arrears and will be paid at net of VAT where the business is VAT registered.

How to apply

To apply, contact Hereford City Centre Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme team to register your interest and discuss your eligibility:

A member of the team will conduct a site visit to discuss the proposed works. A professional planning consultant is available free of charge to help you develop your application and support you with any approvals and consents that are required.

What you will need to submit

When you make your application you will need to submit:

  • An application form
  • Three like-for-like quotes or, where appropriate, a formal tendering process should be undertaken and provided with the application to enable value for money to be demonstrated. Grants will be offered on the lowest quote, however, applicants may wish to choose a higher quote but the difference would be met by the applicant.  
  • A copy of your tenancy agreement( if applicable)
  • A copy of your latest business accounts
  • Confirmation of any necessary approvals, if required. For example: planning permission, landlord consent building regulations. You may need listed building consent, planning permission, advertisement consent or approval under Building Regulations for some of these works. Applications will not be appraised until all of the approvals required are in place and evidenced.

All applications will be subject to an assessment by an appraisal panel and the amount offered will be at the discretion of the panel and only whilst funds are available. The panel’s decision is final. In all cases applicants need to apply for the grant by submitting their full application along with the supporting documents listed above. A grant will not be paid towards any project costs that have occurred before we, Herefordshire Council, have issued and received an acceptance of the grant funding agreement.

Procurement requirements

Please see below for which type of procurement route is required for eligible project costs.

  • Below £25,000 excluding VAT (total project cost) – best value should be obtained by seeking a minimum of three competitive like-for-like quotations or, where appropriate, by undertaking a formal tendering process to enable value for money to be demonstrated. Local suppliers and/or local voluntary, charity and social enterprise (VCSE) sector interest should be considered.
  • £25,000 to £75,000 excluding VAT (total project value) – A minimum of four competitive quotes sought from appropriately qualified and competent suppliers. Two suppliers within the county and/or local VCSE and/or SME sector where appropriate should also be selected. Where four suppliers cannot be identified, the opportunity must be advertised and tendered to the open market.
  • £75,001 excluding VAT (total project value) – Open tendering procedures must be followed. The opportunity must be advertised to the open market.

When the grant is paid

If the grant application is approved, applicants will have until 29 February 2024 to complete the works, and submit copies of relevant invoices and bank statements showing that eligible expenditure has been made. All invoices and bank statements must be dated after the grant offer date. Items purchased using cash will not be eligible for grant payment. A member of the Built Heritage team will conduct a prepayment site visit to ensure the works have been carried out according to the grant funding agreement and in line with any approvals/permissions required. Grant payments are made in arrears: you must have completed and paid for the work before making a grant claim. Stage payments may be made where relevant to do so.

The grant payment will be made directly into the applicant’s *business bank account via BACS within 10-14 days.

* Business bank account definition: A business bank account is a trading commercial account in the name of the applying business. All purchases must be made via the business account and all claim payments will be made to the same business account. Personal or current accounts are NOT eligible.

Next steps

If you believe you have a project that meets the criteria of the scheme and would like to apply then please contact the Hereford City Centre Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme team on 01432 260636 or by email at

Important notes

For the purpose of this scheme an independent retailer is defined as a single retail outlet, or a chain of two or three stores managed and owned by either a Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company

Applicants will need to show evidence that all required permissions have been obtained, or produce written confirmation from Herefordshire Council planning department that no permissions are required, before a grant can be paid.