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Harefield High Street set to get makeover

The council is offering businesses grants to spruce up their shop fronts

Isa Dinler, owner of Village Cafe, is eligible for the scheme

Harefield businesses can grab a share of cash earmarked to make their shops look tip-top.

Following the success of a scheme in other parts of the borough, Hilllingdon Council’s two-year shop front grants project has now been extended to the village.

It offers businesses the chance to improve the appearance and quality of their shop fronts.

Paul Stone, chairman of Harefield Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said he thinks it is a great idea.

“I remember when I had a shop and had to get a new sign and it was very expensive – I’m sure it still is,” he said. “So I hope shopkeepers do take up on it. With Tesco coming we need to keep on top of the game.”

A new branch of Tesco is to be built in a vacant plot next to The King’s Arms in Rickmansworth Road.

Applications for improvements to shop fronts, small or large, could include new windows, re-rendering or repainting or replacement of signs.

“Anything that can help shopkeepers is good,” said Mr Stone.

“There are one or two scruffy shop fronts in Harefield, so if they take it up that will make a big difference to the village.”

Atul Sodha, who owns Londis in Moorhall Road, agreed the scheme would help the village, although his parade is outside the zone – it covers the High Street, to a point just south of Merle Avenue, and short stretches of Rickmansworth Road, Breakspear Road North and Northwood Road.

“The beauty of this kind of grant is that it gives shop owners the chance to have a fresh look, which helps business and also adds to the village being more pleasing to the eye,” he said.

“Harefield, being as unique as it is, can benefit from the expertise and financial support to help us be unique.”

The scheme was unveiled at Harefield Library on Thursday, July 31.

High street regeneration specialist company, Designed by Good People, will help to manage the project, and will work with businesses to produce designs and work out costs. Grants are on a sliding scale, based on the contribution the business makes.

Council officers will support businesses that need to make planning applications.

Much of Harefield is a conservation area so extra help and support will be provided at the design stage to ensure plans are in keeping with the character of the area.

Councillor Douglas Mills, cabinet member for community, commerce and regeneration, said: “Traders in other parts of the borough that have already benefited from this scheme have told us how this has boosted business for them. It’s a fantastic scheme that will help the local economy.”

Ruislip Manor and Northwood Hills have already benefited from the scheme.

To apply, go to www.hillingdon.gov.uk/towncentres.

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