Financial support for vital village shops

In another measure designed to support businesses during the economic downturn, Winchester City Council has announced a new grant scheme offering up to £20,000 for village shops in the Winchester District. 


Business Link Hampshire and Isle of Wight will be working with applicants to help them forge a sustainable business plan, and assess whether a grant would help to boost the business.


Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council said: “At a difficult time like this, the rural economy is of particular concern to the City Council.  We know that small, village shops are often critical to the wellbeing of our rural communities, and we are keen to provide practical support to see these shops survive the recession and thrive in the longer term.  This funding is designed as a shot in the arm for village shops, to help with identified one-off costs and aid longer term plans for the business.  It is not intended as a substitute to regular income, but to help fund improvements to make the business sustainable in the long term.”


Deborah Wyatt, Director of Business Link said: “We are delighted to be able to support Winchester City Council with this project, in addition to other grant funding streams for businesses.  We will be looking for village shops which are viable businesses, but need an extra boost to help with specific improvements.”


The funding will be available until March 2010, or until the total amount allocated to this project has been allocated.  The scheme will then be reviewed, to decide whether to run it again in future years. 


For more information, contact economic development officer Kate Crawford on 01962 848 563 or email