COVID-19: Grants for businesses

High Streets Recovery Fund

High Street

 

The current application window has now closed. We will be in contact with applicants very soon.

What is this fund for?

We all want to see our high streets continue to thrive, yet we also know it has been and still is a tough time for businesses in our town and local centres recently.  This is on top of the ongoing challenge of the rise of internet shopping.   

We don’t believe that this means the end of the high street.  Instead, it is a call to action to businesses, their representative groups, and our communities to help high streets respond positively, to adapt to new realities and re-engage their communities. This funding is intended to help deliver this.

We want to fund initiatives that best meet one or more of the following, to:

  • help high streets to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and its restrictions on business activity
  • encourage businesses to work closer together to support longer-term resilience of district and local shopping areas
  • engage local people in their high streets, generating a sense of community that also helps support local businesses.

These are the broad objectives of our High Streets Recovery Fund and we encourage you to consider these when setting out your proposal.  

Our funding must deliver direct benefits to business, so successful proposals will need to reflect how this will happen, and ideally demonstrate support from stakeholders and local businesses.  We welcome proposals that are at an early stage of thinking though, and will advise you on any additional development you need to consider.

How much funding is available?

£250,000 across Tolworth, Chessington/Hook, New Malden, Surbiton and Kingston town centres.  Additional funds could support smaller parades such as Norbiton, should they come forward.  

We're seeking proposals that are large enough to have an impact on the high street, their trading environment and its role they play for their communities.  Projects that are likely to cost between £5000 and £50,000 are preferred, but all ideas will be assessed on their merit and impact. 
Proposals can be for one impactful initiative or a package that brings impact as a whole.

Who can receive the funds?

We need to ensure that these funds are managed well.  We’re open to a range of approaches, which could include business-led or community groups, or voluntary organisations, with a constitution and bank account.

If proposals come from individuals, we’d like to see these demonstrating support from the business community.  In these cases, we’d work with the proposer to determine the best way of managing funds. This could mean the council paying suppliers directly for services, or the proposer submitting paperwork to account for spend.

All recipients will need to provide robust accounting for funding allocated to projects. We will provide a formal agreement that will be signed by successful applicants and the council.   
In some cases, such as projects to improve physical spaces , the funding could be managed by Kingston Council on behalf of the beneficiary.

What kind of things could we propose?

Provided the broad objectives of the fund above are met, we are open to your ideas and creativity.  For example, this could include:

  • events to encourage people back to high streets 
  • projects to boost the sense of place and connection with the high street - such as signage, artistic or cultural initiatives, branding and website development
  • addressing ‘problem’ issues such as ‘grot spots’, using an empty shop, or making high streets more accessible, so that more people can visit their high street
  • addressing crime and safety, such as approaches to addressing shoplifting, making an area feel safer and more inviting.
  • improving street furniture or landscape, provided it is deliverable within the funding window.
  • business skills and training that enables the business to operate better, such as technology development, social media communications or leadership skills.
  • market facilities, christmas events or lighting, or the equipment required to provide these.

In most cases, we’d expect the proposer to play a key part in delivering the initiative proposed, perhaps working with partners and council.

How can you access the funding? 

We want the process to be as clear and simple as possible for applicants, while taking account of appropriate management of public funds.  

The first stage is a simple application that sets out the following, using our simple online form. This covers:

  • An outline of your proposal and which of the fund’s objectives it delivers
  • How much funding is requested
  • How the initiative might be delivered: directly by the applicant or requiring support or delivery from RBK/other partners.
  • Whether the initiatives have the demonstrable support of the businesses directly impacted or benefitting from the activity, and where appropriate, the community. 
  • Whether the initiatives can be fully delivered in 2021, with funds spent by the end of March 2022.
  • If the proposal is to be delivered directly by the applicant, how the proposal will be delivered and how funds will be accounted for (such as through a constituted group).

We want to know as much as we can about your proposal so we can decide if it should be shortlisted.   Proposals will be assessed on:

  • How well they meet our funding objectives, set out above
  • Whether your proposals are deliverable, and within the timeframe for this fund.
  • The likely overall impact of the proposals.

However, don’t worry if you do not have detailed information yet.  If your proposal is  supported, we will work with you to understand the proposals in more detail, and determine the best way to manage the funds. 

Council officers will review proposals and make recommendations to the relevant neighbourhood committee, who will determine whether the proposals are supported.

Timing and assessment of proposals

The initial round of applications need to be submitted by the end of April 2021. 

We anticipate that an initial group of projects to be supported will be confirmed in May 2021, with delivery taking place by the autumn.

The current application window has now closed. We will be in contact with applicants very soon.

If you have queries about this fund, please email [email protected] 

Last Modified: 06/05/2021 15:06:10