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New grant scheme to boost Swansea’s district shopping centres


Applications are now being invited for grant funding that’s aimed at improving small commercial and district shopping centres across the City and County of Swansea which are outside the city centre.

Run by Swansea Council and funded by the UK Government through the Shared Prosperity Fund, placemaking grants of up to £30,000 are available.

Projects covered by the grant scheme, which is part of the council’s Transforming County anchor project, include:

  • Schemes that upgrade vacant commercial floor space to bring it back into beneficial business use. Offices, independent leisure, retail and food and drink uses will be considered in particular, although mixed-use schemes will be considered too. Offices or commercial premises above retail units will also be considered for support.
  • Shopfront improvement schemes to enhance building frontages for beneficial use. Works could include improvements to shopfronts and facades, signage, external lighting and windows and doors.
  • The provision of green infrastructure and biodiversity projects. This could include green walls, green roofs, rain gardens, greening and pocket gardens.
  • Small-scale improvements to public spaces, which would include the removal and dropping of curbs, permanent planters, screening provision and the widening of pavements to provide outdoor seating and amenity areas.
  • Schemes that support active travel cycling and walking routes where they can’t be funded through other sources. This could include bike storage facilities, lockers and the retrofitting of commercial premises with shower and hygiene facilities.

All schemes will require at least 30% of the total project costs to be match funded from another source. They will also have to be complete by November 30, 2024.

The placemaking grants follow-on from the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns placemaking programme, which makes funding available for improvements in the city centre and a small number of targeted district centres.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “We do a lot as a council to support the city centre with schemes including Transforming Towns in place for improvement projects there, but we’re also committed to doing all we can to support small commercial and district retail centres in other parts of Swansea too.

“This Transforming County placemaking grant scheme will boost the appearance and vibrancy of these local shopping centres by improving the way shops look, bringing empty buildings back to life and introducing more greenery and better public spaces.

“Both local businesses and local residents will benefit, so we’d encourage potential applicants to head to our website for more information.

“This is one of many schemes being run by the council and funded by the UK Government through the Shared Prosperity Fund, with others including a business support anchor project.”