A TRADER in Ruislip Manor has expressed his anger after missing out on grants to improve his shop front.
Paul Petrou owns Paul’s Manor Café, which despite having a postal address in Victoria Road, has been overlooked in Hillingdon Council’s improvement scheme to dish out part of the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund to regenerate the suburbs.
The 52-year-old and some other shop owners whose businesses lie on the roundabout where Victoria Road meets Cornwall Road and Chelston Road have each missed out on a grant of up to £4,800 in favour of those in the main row of outlets round the corner.
He said: “I think it’s disgusting. When you first enter the Manor from our end, we are the first shops you see. Surely we should get priority?
“It feels like it’s an attack on us, like there’s some sort of agenda against just the shops at the end of the high street.
“I have been running my café since 1986 when I moved in here.
“I am part of Ruislip Manor’s high street – my address is Victoria Road – so why am I being left out of funding for Victoria Road improvements?
“This is my living and we are just about keeping our heads above water.”
Hillingdon Council decided to award grants only to those business alongside a specific length of Victoria Road – which stops just before the parade that fronts the roundabout and contains Mr Petrou’s café.
Councillor Douglas Mills, the authority’s cabinet member for improvement, partnerships and community safety, and a Conservative Manor ward councillor, said: “We are making significant investment in Ruislip Manor to boost business and improve the town centre. Our shop front grants scheme has been welcomed by traders but funding is limited.
“We have already written to traders explaining that we are willing to discuss the possibility of transferring a shop outside this designated area to one of the vacant sites within it. One such shop transfer is already progressing, proving that such a scheme can work.”
A total of £1.6million is being invested in Ruislip Manor over the two years and this includes £120,000 dedicated to the shop fronts scheme.