Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme for Academy Street

photo B&W
: Academy Street 1956, courtesy of the Jimmy Nairn Collection, Highland Photographic Archive

Thursday, 9th March 2017 will see the launch of a new Traditional Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme, as part of the Townscape Heritage Project for Academy Street.

The Townscape Heritage (TH) team will be in 34 Academy Street (the vacant shop next to Rohan) from 12noon to 5.30pm on Thursday, and are encouraging all property owners and business operators on Academy Street, to call in and find out about the project and potential sources of grant funding.

Traditional sign writer Ali Crichton, of Caligraphics Vintage Signage, will be showcasing his skills at the launch event. Live demonstrations of his work will take place from 12noon and 3.30pm.

If you are an owner or tenant of a shop on Academy Street you will be eligible to apply for grant funding for up to 70% of eligible works.  The maximum grant awarded will be determined by the property and the nature of the works. 

The Traditional Shopfront Improvement Scheme aims to make Academy Street a more attractive place to live, work, and visit by improving the appearance of shopfronts. The grant money will assist in restoring the shopfronts to their original design, or the creation of new sympathetic shopfront where no evidence of the original design exists.

In his capacity as Chair of the Townscape Heritage Partnership Board, Councillor Richard Laird said: “Academy Street has recently benefitted from the restoration of the fire-damaged M & Co Building and the launch of the Shopfront Improvement Scheme offers welcome assistance to business owners and tenants.  I would encourage all interested parties to take up this opportunity to meet the team at 34 Academy Street on Thursday.”

Inverness BID Manager Mike Smith said: “As BID’s representative on the Townscape Heritage Project we welcome the creation this new Grant Scheme.  We feel that shop front improvements will be beneficial to local businesses and would encourage as many property owners to find out more next Thursday or by making contact with the TH Project Team.”

Focusing on Academy Street, the Townscape Heritage project involves funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the Highland Council. Local property owners, businesses and organisations can apply for grant assistance to carry out high-quality repairs and historic reinstatement to their properties on Academy Street.

The types of improvement works eligible for grant assistance include; the removal and replacement of inappropriate modern alterations such as external roller shutters, plastic signage, and excessive shopfront clutter; re-instating the original architectural detail, scale and proportions of the shopfront using traditional materials and techniques, sympathetic signage; and painting and decorating.



3 Mar 2017
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