Redesign Shopfront Improvement Scheme

Redesign Shopfront Improvement Scheme

07/09/2023

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Announcements / Business Spotlights / Community / Placemaking / Public Realm

WeAreWaterloo Business Improvement District (BID) has invested over £30,000 into the renovation of 10 shopfronts located throughout the Waterloo area.

After unveiling the Waterloo Placemaking Strategy last year, WeAreWaterloo has been on a mission to brighten up the district’s shopping avenues and encourage the exploration of its diverse local business community. In August of that same year, the BID introduced the Redesign Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme to support independent local businesses in funding their shopfront renovation projects.

With grants of up to £5,000 per shopfront, the BID saw over 20 applications from SE1. Following a thorough selection, 14 successful businesses secured funding for their transformations, including cafes, restaurants, arts hubs, and even a charming historic bookshop. WeAreWaterloo covered everything from a fresh coat of paint and signage to lighting and displays, livening up businesses in the area.

Owner of Sista Barista, Wendy said “The grant has made a huge positive difference to our business. I believe our daily turnover has increased by at least 20% because the cafe is now much more noticeable and attractive to customers. Redesign was a great project and funded something I would not have been able to afford myself, especially when we are still recovering from the impact of COVID. We have received so many positive comments from regular customers and visitors.”

WeAreWaterloo Chief Executive, Natalie Raben, added “We are delighted by the results of our first-ever Waterloo shop front improvement grant scheme. It has been incredible to see businesses that struggled so much during the pandemic be given this new lease of life through these renovations. This type of project is exactly why we developed the Waterloo Placemaking Strategy as it speaks directly to Waterloo’s identity, both in its vibrancy and resilience”.

The BID is excited to announce that the success of this shopfront improvement grant scheme means they are now accepting applications for a second round of funding. More information about the project and how to apply can be found in the newly updated Redesign – Information Guide.

Click here to submit your application (closes on Friday 3 November 2023).

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