Purpose of the fund

The Heritage Shopfront Scheme offers businesses located within Hillsborough or Moira Conservation Area, the opportunity to apply for a grant to improve their shop frontage. 

The scheme aims to support businesses, whose shop fronts currently sit outside of planning regulations, from a heritage perspective, and help businesses to sympathetically repair or if necessary, replace their shop front façade and signage in order to conform to the conservation guidelines. The aim of the scheme is to create a more pleasing environment by improving heritage shop fronts, resulting in wider benefits for the public realm and civic pride.

Any work undertaken must adhere to Conservation Design Standards and Guidelines. If an applicant would like further clarification on these guidelines, our Conservation Officer can be emailed at 

Allocation of funding

This grant will be offered to small business owners with properties within the Hillsborough or Moira Conservation Area, to enhance the appearance and condition of their shop fronts and signage, making the Conservation Area a more attractive place for both residents and visitors.

Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to 80% - maximum £12,500 (ex VAT) and must be able to demonstrate that their contribution of a minimum 20% of the overall costs (ex VAT) has been secured.

In order to receive the maximum grant, your certified paid invoices must therefore equate to at least £15,625. (ex VAT).

Should this grant scheme be oversubscribed, the amount awarded may have to be reduced to ensure the maximum number of businesses benefit from this initiative.

Award of the grant will be at our discretion. The purpose of the scheme is to encourage businesses located within conservation areas to update shopfronts in order to conform to conservation guidelines, and enhance the village. We will therefore have the ultimate decision in determining which applications are eligible.

Who can apply?

All businesses within the villages of Royal Hillsborough and Moira are eligible to apply. Whilst priority will be given to businesses situated within the Conservation Area (outlined on the maps linked below), all businesses situated within the village boundary will be considered eligible.

Who cannot apply?

In general, the following will not be eligible to apply for funding:

  • businesses/premises not situated within the black line boundary of Royal Hillsborough and Moira
  • sports clubs
  • public buildings
  • political organisations
  • multiples

What can be funded?

Funding is available for the repair and replacement (where appropriate) of:

  • shopfronts (requiring full planning permission)
  • signage (requiring advertising consent)
  • lighting (may require full planning permission)
  •  re-painting (may require listed building consent)
  • removal of wires etc.
  •  removal of inappropriate shutters or awnings

Proposals should undertake improvements which are sympathetic to the Conservation Area, and comply with all regulations, permissions and show consideration to the existing character and appearance of the Conservation Area as outlined in the Conservation Design Standards and Guidelines.

Shopfronts and signs that are currently not yet in compliance with planning guidance are encouraged to apply.

What cannot be funded?    

In general, the following will not be eligible for funding:

  • any costs or projects which are clearly another statutory agency’s responsibility or costs that can be claimed back from elsewhere e.g. VAT cannot be funded
  • costs incurred prior to a letter of offer from us (retrospective funding)
  • professional and statutory fees including planning consents, building control and legal fees or any costs incurred in obtaining quotes in preparation of applications
  • loan repayments
  • consultancy fees
  • costs towards ongoing running costs/ cash/flow (e.g. electricity, rent, rates, insurance etc.)
  • costs towards banking charges and / or repayment of debt.
  • costs which are not clearly linked to the project
  • costs that are assessed as poor value for money, or have not followed the scheme guidance
  • costs that are already covered by other funding or income sources
  • costs which are deemed excessive by our QS advisor
  • cash expenditure will not be eligible for refund from us
  • salary costs will not be funded
  • alcohol, gratuities, gifts and prizes will not be funded
  • purchase of stock for general trading purposes
  • costs relating to transportation/vehicles

We reserve the right to reject late applications.