BUSINESSES within Barrow’s town centre are being given a facelift thanks to a financial-boosting helping hand.

Barrow BID is offering its members the opportunity to apply for a Businesses Premises Grant Scheme, worth up to £1,000.

A wide range of independent retailers have already benefited from the scheme since its introduction in January, including The Last Resort Coffee Shop, on Cavendish Street, which has seen its exterior fashioned with a java rejuvenation.

The Last Resort owner, Mike Stephenson said: “The shopfront was worn out and didn’t reflect the professional image I want the business to project.

“I spoke with Barrow Bid manager, Colin Garnett, who made me aware of the grant scheme and our eligibility.

“All of the exterior masonry, wood work and signage has been repainted in new colours and to a high standard.

“The improvements show we care for the shop and the streetscape and we’ve already had plenty of positive comments.”

Mr Stephenson praised Barrow BID’s financial support of £730, which saw the grant foot half the bill for the shop’s redecoration.

He said: “Support from the BID is an excellent way to encourage town centre businesses to improve their shopfronts.

“By offering 50-50 grants, whereby the business owner covers half the cost of the improvement, the BID are enabling many businesses to improve not just the look of their business, but the overall look of the town centre.

“It’s vital everyone makes an effort to help improve the look of the town.”

Barrow BID manager Colin Garnett said: “We’ve set aside a pot for the next three years in order to fund exterior improvements of business premises in Barrow town centre.

“We get our funding from all BID members.

“BID members pay a levy (member charge) based on their rateable value of their premises.

"The businesses pay 1.5% on that value.

“Any BID levy payers within the area (between Rawlinson Street, Greengate Street and the Abbey Road area) can apply for the scheme."

Other town centre businesses that have benefited, include Dandy's Furniture Department Store, The Well Community, Sweet Pepper Cafe, Special Occasions, and many more.

Mr Garnett also stated national chains within the BID area can apply for the funding scheme.

Companies can apply for membership every September.

Extenuating circumstances apply to new businesses opening up outside the membership deadline.

More information can be found on: