Skip to content

Coronavirus in Leicester (ALPHA Test site)

Get the latest information and advice

Shop front improvement grant

We’re offering grants of up to £5,000 to encourage independent retail businesses to improve their shop fronts. Businesses must match 50 per cent of the grant offered.

The grant scheme will prioritise seven retail areas, certain parts of the city centre and vacant shop properties across the whole city.

Who can apply?

Independent retail businesses within Leicester (or the Leicester City Council area) who are looking to upgrade and improve their shop frontage and shops that have been vacant for a minimum period of 6 months.

  • The business must be an independent retailer with no more than five shops

  • The project must meet the requirements of our 'Design Guide' - attached at the bottom of this page.

  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate how their shop front improvement will improve the look of the business and have a positive impact on the surrounding area. Like for like schemes or general maintenance work will not be eligible.

What are the conditions of the grant?

  • All grants offered through the scheme will require a guarantee of match-funding from the business owner
  • A minimum of two quotes from contractors will be required
  • Payment will only be made on completion of the work and bank account evidence being provided that full payment has been made to the contractor
  • Grant value to be no more than £5,000.
  • Any applications must not bring us into disrepute or harm our reputation
  • Planning permission/advertising consent will usually be required.

What type of work will be funded?

Funding will be allocated to eligible projects based on an application and assessment procedure. Eligible works include:

  • New shop fronts
  • Repair ad reinstatement of all or any part of a shop front fixture that is visible from the street, including the first and second floors of premises where they are used for commercial activities
  • Repainting of shop fronts in suitable colours
  • Signage
  • External lighting (subject to planning permission)
  • Internal security grilles and/or security glazing (subject to planning permission)

Grants will pay for up to 50% (City Centre) or 90% (neighbourhood shopping area) of the eligible project cost up to a maximum of £5,000. Applications cannot be made retrospectively, so works should not commence on-site before a grant offer is accepted.

The type of works that would not normally be funded include:

  • Lighting within window displays
  • Professional fees associated with the development and delivery of the project, including planning application fees, consultancy fees and advisory services
  • Window display equipment
  • Pedestrian access improvements
  • Repointing
  • Repair and cleaning of external stonework and brickwork
  • Repair and reinstatement of guttering and down-pipes
  • Externally mounted security features.

Are you eligible?

Please complete the following enquiry form and we will check whether you are eligible to apply for the grant.

Alternatively, if you would like further information about the grant scheme, please send us an email at

If you are eligible, we will send you an application form with guidance notes. You can find the design guide at the bottom of this page.


Contact us

Write to us: Economic Regeneration Team, City Hall, 115 Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 1FZ
Email us: