Shop Front Improvement Grant

Town centre shop fronts are set for a makeover, boosting the appeal and character of primary shopping areas and helping attract more customers.

Owners and landlords of shops or business tenants from across the district are invited to apply for a grant to improve their frontage; please see below eligibility.

Funding is on offer towards the cost of :-

  • Painting or cleaning up of frontage, first and second floors of premises where they are used for commercial activities
  • New windows and doors 
  • Installation or restoration of shop awnings
  • New advertising signage including hanging signs 
  • Training to help to dress windows seasonally

How much can I apply for?

Grants of up to £3000 are available, with applicants match funding 50:50 of the total project costs.

Planning permission

Structural alterations to business premises are likely to need planning permission, including alterations to shop fronts.

Most outdoor advertisements require permission. Find out more about Advertisement Consent

Applications requiring planning permission will be only awarded after planning approval. We know this process takes time. Your application will stay open and we will support you until a decision is made. If you are not sure whether your works need planning permission, please submit your application and we will advise.  

Who is eligible?

If you have an independent retail shop front that is situated in the primary shopping areas across the district, you can apply.

For the two town centres and the large village of Broughton Astley, properties with a commercial frontage must be situated within the red line on the maps below to be eligible.  

Broughton Astley


Market Harborough

  • Shops and independent retailers
  • Charity shops
  • Restaurants, cafes, bars, takeaways
  • Hair and beauty salons
  • Other professional services

How to apply

Step 1 - Visit the grant approval website

Register, if you have not previously used this system for Covid-19 grants. Once you have registered and confirmed your email address, proceed.

Step 2 - Log in at the grant approval website

Step 3 - Select the new scheme tab

Step 4 - Click Business (not resident)

Step 5 - Select Harborough as your local authority.

Step 6 - Click Shop Front Improvement Grant in the drop-down box.

What you will need :

  • Two different quotations for the total project costs (please use Harborough district-based suppliers where possible)
  • One drawing/sketch of the works required
  • One recent business bank account statement
  • A business rates bill to hand

Please Note: You can save your application and come back to it later if you do not have the relevant documents to hand.

Once your application has been approved the grant will be transferred into the requested bank account. (The money will show in your account on a given Wednesday no more than 5 workings days after it has been approved) 

It is important you don’t start your project before your application is considered or approved. Funding cannot be applied retrospectively, which means you cannot apply for work that has already been done. Priority will be given to applications that make the greatest impact and benefit to the historic town centre environments.  It is a competitive fund with eligible criteria.  The number of grants awarded depends on the number of applications received that are successful.

If you would like to speak to one of the Economic Development Team, please email

The deadline for applications has been extended until Friday 28 January 2022.

We understand there are difficulties getting contractor quotes.