These guidance notes are provided to help you understand the aims of the Business Front Improvement Grant Scheme and how you can make a grant application.


Business fronts are an important part of the business identity and building’s façade. They make a big impact on the appearance of a town. They contribute to people’s first impression of a town and their condition affects a town’s image. High quality business fronts make a town feel more welcoming to locals and visitors, improve its image, contribute towards a stronger sense of identity, and, importantly, encourage a greater number of visits to the town for business or leisure.

The business front improvement grant scheme aims to improve shop fronts in selected areas as a means of supporting the growth of local businesses, improving the local environment, and raising the image of the town amongst locals and visitors.

The grant scheme is funded through two funding allocations. These are through the Ulverston Business Improvement District (BID) and the former South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

The total amount available for funding through this scheme is £10,000 allocating up to £500.00 per business (match funded)


All businesses with premises located within the Our Ulverston BID area and who pay their yearly Levy to the BID. It is aimed for businesses that are looking to fix, upgrade and improve their business frontage and properties that have been vacant for a minimum period of 6 months are eligible to apply to the fund. Leaseholders with a commercial business lease must have at least 3 years left on the lease and the landlords written permissions.

Examples of eligible commercial premises include:

  • Shops (including hairdressers, beauty salons, funeral directors, laundrettes, dry cleaners and
    post offices)
  • Financial and professional services – e.g. banks, building societies, estate agencies,
  • professional and financial services
  • Restaurants, public houses, cafes and food takeaways
  • Market Hall Stalls (Levy Payers)
  • Engineering, workshops, trading garages
  • Both tenants and building owners can apply.

If you are unsure whether your business will qualify for a grant, you should contact for advice and information.


The scheme will provide funding up to a limit of £500.00 which must equate to 50% of the cost of delivery of works. The other 50% must be covered by your business. Applicants will be asked to provide proof of this.

Grants are discretionary and subject to availability of funds. The inclusion of a building within the eligible area does not give any automatic entitlement to a grant. The scheme will not support works which have already been undertaken or any works which are started prior to a formal offer of grant funding being made.

There are a limited number of grants available so where the scheme is oversubscribed, a system of prioritisation will be put in place. In such cases priority will be given to improvements that would be seen to have the most impact. Subject to availability of funding, applications for funding must be made by June 30th 2024 and works completed by December 31st 2024.

Map of the BID area – Is available in the Business Plan available on


  • Repair and reinstatement of all or any part of a business front fixture that is visible from the street/road, including the first and second floors of premises where they are used for commercial activities.
  • Repainting of shop fronts.
  • Repair and reinstatement of guttering and down-pipes.
  • Pedestrian access improvements compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act.


‘Like for like replacement is a repair (except in the case of listed buildings in some instances) but alteration is the introduction of new fabric or modification of existing fabric to a different design to that which existed previously. The comprehensive replacement of fabric even like for like may constitute an alteration in the case of a listed building where historic fabric may have intrinsic historic significance.’

The scheme will not support:

  • Improvements to residential property, including residential property located above commercial premises.
  • Retrospective applications i.e. for work already completed or underway Structural
  • repairs including re-roofing.
  • Internal repairs and alterations
  • External security features
  • CCTV systems
  • Recoverable VAT


  • Completed Application form.
  • Schedule of works – giving full details of the improvement works that you intend to carry out.
  • Proof of ownership/lease - If you do not own the property, you will need to provide proof that you have permission from the owner to carry out the works.
  • The building owner must countersign your application to show that they have given permission for the works to be carried out.
  • Copies of any statutory consent notifications (e.g. planning permission) You MUST consult with the Westmorland & Furness Council to establish a need for Planning Permission/ Listed Building Consent/ Conservation Area Consent and or Advertisement Consent. (If consent is needed you will be required to obtain it before a final grant offer letter can be sent out to you).
  • Photographs showing your current business front.
  • Sketches or design proposals showing the proposed improvement.
  • Your business may be located in a Conservation Area, and it is important that any changes are appropriate and sympathetic to its character. The control over advertisements in these areas are stricter and we require that any signs are in line with the Advertising Regulations, and you should consult your designs with the Westmorland & Furness Council.
  • Quotations obtained.
  • Bank statement
  • Proof of up-to-date levy payments
  • Breakdown of costs


We will make a decision on your application within four to six weeks of receiving a complete application. Applications will be considered by the directors of Ulverston BID. All grant offers will be made in writing.


The Grant will only be paid directly to the business on submission of receipted invoices and

upon satisfactory completion of the outlined work. Claims of eligible expenditure incurred must be supported by a fully transparent audit trail traceable through invoices and bank statements (the improvements are not to be paid in cash).


  • The agreement is between Ulverston BID and the Applicant(s) as named in the offer letter.
  • Businesses/Organisations accepting grant offers from the Business Front Scheme will be required to abide by and agree to the following terms and conditions:
  • The approval or refusal of a grant is at the absolute discretion of Ulverston BID and there will be no rights to an appeal process.
  • The applicant must inform Ulverston BID of any changes to the business or changes of business address and telephone number.
  • The grant must be used for the purpose intended as outlined in the Grant Offer letter.
  • The grant may not be used to fund retrospective work.
  • In the case of tenant’s, payment of the grant requires the building owner’s approval and proof of a minimum 3 year lease for the building.
  • The grant must not be used for improvements to residential property, internal repairs and alterations, external security features, CCTV systems or recoverable VAT.
  • The grant will only be paid to proposals which have been granted planning permission (if applicable)
  • The grant will only be paid to businesses whose levy payments are up to date (where applicable).
  • The grant is made on the condition that the property will be maintained to a satisfactory standard for a minimum of three years.
  • Any grant must be taken up within the period stated in the Grant Offer Letter unless a prior arrangement is made.
  • Ulverston BID will pay the grant to the successful applicant in one sum when it receives evidence that the applicant has incurred the expenditure.
  • Claims of eligible expenditure incurred must be supported by a fully transparent audit trail traceable through invoices and bank statements.
  • Ulverston BID reserves the right to publish illustrations, photographs or other details of your project in promotional literature, social media, website and other documents associated with Ulverston BID initiatives.
  • The results will be shared on social media tagging Ulverston BID who provided financial support.


If you are interested in applying for a grant, please download and fill out the application form or email



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