Town Centres Opportunities Fund

The borough is full of vibrant and distinct town and village centres. These play a key part in the quality of life of residents, provide a great visitor experience and an environment that businesses can thrive in. Our Town Centres Opportunities Fund is designed to help our town and village centres to maintain and grow this vitality.

Purpose of the fund

Broadly, the Town Centres Opportunities Fund is in place to:

  • Improve the trading environment
  • Make local towns more attractive and convenient for visitors
  • Help attract new investment and fill empty shops/business units

Funding typically supports initiatives and events that improve business, raise the profile of a retail area or addresses important local business issues.

Who can apply

Funding is available to local groups and associations that are appropriately established with a constitution and have a bank account for their association to receive funds. Funds are not paid to an individual. Funding may be able to support the initial development of such a group where it does not already exist.

How much you can apply for

Support is provided on a ‘match-funding’ basis. We will usually provide up to 50% of the total cost of your proposed initiatives, matching each pound that you raise locally, although in some circumstance we may be able to apply discretion.

We would expect applications to range from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand pounds, depending on the needs and the length of the agreement.

Things to consider in your application

  • To help ensure that we make best use of available funds, we encourage groups and associations to work in conjunction with others, delivering initiatives jointly where there is a shared objective or similar.
  • We encourage centres to apply for funding to deliver a variety of initiatives rather than necessarily repeating them.
  • Associations receiving funding should commit to contributing to the Borough wide Retail Alliance such as attending the Alliance meetings or sharing perspectives and learning. We can talk to you about the Alliance when you contact us about funding.
  • Funded initiatives should aim to become self-sustaining over a reasonable time, up to 3 years.

What the Fund does not cover

This funding is not intended to use the fund for promoting individual areas to visitors and is not open for applications from individual people or businesses.

Schemes concerned with only Christmas lights could receive funding from a separate Council fund. For more details email business@richmond.gov.uk providing your contact details, area you represent and any queries.

How to apply

In the first instance it will help to contact us about your plans. We’ll be glad to help:

Email: business@richmond.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 8891 1411

To take your application forward there will be a short form to complete that asks you to briefly set out your plans, including how much funding you are asking for and how much you will raise locally. We’ll then send you a letter of agreement for you to sign and return. We will then pay you on production of an invoice.

Monitoring

We will talk with you occasionally to understand how plans are progressing. We may ask for you to share evidence of your local match-funding and how you’ve spent the funds. The funding agreement letter will set out any other requirements.

Updated: 22 September 2015