A new initiative to help improve the appearance of Haddington town centre has been launched by East Lothian Council and Haddington & District Community Council.

The Haddington Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme has been developed to provide support to business owners and community organisations to repair or enhance the visual appearance of the historic town centre environment, creating a positive impact with the aim of encouraging more people to use the town’s fantastic services. The scheme is funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, part of the wider Levelling Up agenda.

Grants of up to 75% of eligible costs are available, up to a maximum of £3,000. As the fund is limited, all applications received will be assessed in terms of the fund priorities and grant awards made accordingly.

Funded works can include redecoration, new signage, repairs to shopfronts, reinstatement of missing architectural details or replacement of the shopfront with a new frontage. The fund is now open for applications with a deadline for submissions of Friday 3 May.

Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment, Economic Development and Tourism, Councillor John McMillan, said: “Haddington town centre has many attractive, historic, properties and I’m really pleased that we have been able to work with the community council to develop this grant scheme. I would encourage anyone with a vision to enhance their property to apply so that we can help improve this much-loved town centre for the benefit of everyone, whether they live or work here or are visiting.”

Chrisoph Crepaz, Chair of the Haddington & District Community Council Town Centre Development Group, said: “The shop front serves as the initial point of contact for customers, shaping their perception of the business even before they step inside. We believe that by offering grants, we can empower businesses to improve their exteriors, creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for both residents and visitors alike.

“The initiative recognises the significance of a vibrant and aesthetically pleasing town centre, not only for business owners but also for the broader community. By investing in the enhancement of shop fronts, Haddington aims to showcase its pride in its appearance, ensuring that every stroll down the street or arrival by bus is met with a sense of warmth and admiration.

“We urge all eligible businesses to take advantage of this opportunity and join us in making Haddington a more vibrant and welcoming place for all.”

This scheme follows on from the recently launched Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme in Prestonpans, with more shopfront improvement grant schemes being planned for delivery across the county, working with local communities to ensure the investment is delivered to benefit each settlement, town centre or local area.

For further information on the Haddington Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme or to download and application form and guidance notes, visit the council website.



Published: Wednesday, 27th March 2024