8 March 2023| | 3 min read
New grants launched to help transform local high streets in the east end.
A new grant scheme aimed at revitalising high streets in the east end of the city is launched today (8 March).
Newcastle City Council has grants available for small businesses and community groups to host events and take over empty properties as part of a drive to boost footfall for high streets in the east of the city.
Shields Road is one of the high streets which could benefit from the new scheme, as well as Chillingham Road, Heaton Road, Heaton Park Road and Welbeck Road.
The grants are open to community groups, local businesses or charities to take over an empty property or hold community events, markets, or pop-up shops, with grants worth up to £25,000 for empty properties and up to £10,000 for events held in and around the high streets.
Cllr Alex Hay, cabinet member for a resilient city, said: “We’re delighted to launch this new grant scheme to help boost footfall and bring back pride to high streets in the east end.
“We’ve developed the scheme based on what people in living, working, and visiting the area told us they would like to see on their local high streets. They don’t want to see boarded up properties or lack of choice when it comes to shopping. What they want to see is better variety of shops, empty properties brought back into use, and more activity and things to do for all ages right on their doorstep.
“This is a great opportunity for small and new businesses, community groups, charities and arts and cultural groups to breathe new life into these high streets and contribute to the wider plans to improve the area. These high streets, particularly Shields Road, have so much potential so we welcome groups or new traders to come forward to access these grants.
“We also recognise that other areas across the city could benefit from this type of scheme, however we only have limited funding for this pilot project, which we want to develop as a blue-print to roll out to other areas for when funding becomes available.”
The grants are part of a pilot £1.9 million Newcastle East –Inclusive, healthy, vibrant high streets project, which will deliver improvements for five high streets. Funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Town and High Street Innovation Programme, Newcastle City Council will use the pot of money to bring back empty properties into use, provide support for local traders and create greener and more attractive public spaces, as well as develop a long-term investment plan for the area.
Launched last summer, the two-year programme has developed the grants scheme based on feedback from residents, businesses, and local groups in the east end to find out about what people thought about the high streets and any improvements they would like to see to encourage its greater use.
Main issues hi-lighted were people want to see empty buildings brought back in to use to improve the appearance of the high streets. They also want to see empty space used differently for community or cultural uses as well as for independent shops including those selling fresh food. Better use of outdoor public space, offering events and activities for people of all ages to enjoy would also be welcomed.
As part of the Newcastle East project, regular business events are being held, an artist in residency programme is working with local groups, as well as designs for public realm improvements are being developed that will be shared for public consultation in the coming months.
More information on how to apply for the grants is available at www.newcastle.gov.uk/highstreets.
We’re delighted to launch this new grant scheme to help boost footfall and bring back pride to high streets in the east end.
We’ve developed the scheme based on what people in living, working, and visiting the area told us they would like to see on their local high streets. They don’t want to see boarded up properties or lack of choice when it comes to shopping. What they want to see is better variety of shops, empty properties brought back into use, and more activity and things to do for all ages right on their doorstep.
Cllr Alex Hay
Cabinet member for a resilient city