Facelift for shopfronts thanks to pilot scheme

City centre shops have been given a facelift as part of a pilot scheme run by Plymouth City Council and the City Centre Company.

Five businesses have so far had their shop fronts upgraded as part of the Shop Front Improvement Grant Scheme, following the successful renewal of the City Centre Business Improvement District.

The shop front scheme aims to support businesses to transform the front of their property to make them more attractive and welcoming for shoppers. The scheme was set out in the City Centre Company’s 2015 to 2020 business plan and the Council agreed to a pot of funding to support the scheme.

Businesses submitted an application for a grant to a reviewing panel made up of City Centre Company and Council representatives and as part of this process, had to provide detailed drawings of the works they were hoping to carry out.

Council leader Ian Bowyer said: “Our city centre is hugely important to Plymouth. We want all our businesses to make a good impression so that people feel welcome and comfortable spending their hard earned money in these city centre shops. This is about making sure one of our key economic growth areas is selling the city – to visitors and residents.”

Chair of the City Centre Company Doug Fletcher added: “The scheme was designed to allow businesses as much flexibility and control in what they wanted to do as possible. We were guiding hands, but they were in the hot seat. We think it has worked really well.”

The five completed shop fronts are:

Jakes’ Café on Cornwall Street. Part of the city centre café scene for years, its frontage onto Cornwall Street had suffered wear and tear. The owners wanted to refresh the front and give it a new lease of life. They also wanted support installing ventilation and sliding windows to help the air flow through the café in the summer.

Bonmarche, the value women’s wear retailer in New George Street had a dated shop front and wanted to ensure the shop entrance was as safe as possible. They replaced the existing tiling with a non-slip substitute.

Cutting Garden in Mayflower Street wanted a more professional feel to their shop front. They worked with an independent designer to rebrand their business, which, with the support of the grant, is now reflected in their stylish new shop front.

Oggy Oggy Pasty on Armada Way. The pasty company moved to an empty unit on Armada Way backing on to the new coach station. The scheme supported the business to design and deliver a very recognisable shop front.

Plymouth Fancy Dress. The fancy dress shop in the Armada Centre wanted a shop front as bright and vibrant as the costumes they sell.