Grant total handed out for new Fylde town centre businesses nears £100,000

A fund offering a cash boost for new Fylde businesses taking over vacant premises is edging towards £100,000 having been handed out in its first four months.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 4:44 pm

Since Fylde Council’s ARG Vacant Premises Grant was launched earlier this year, 13 businesses have now received up to £10,000 each, with a total of £91,064.38 in support being awarded.

The latest two businesses to benefit are fashion boutique One in Lytham and vintage goods specialist Goodness in St Annes, which both signed up for the scheme to help with the launch of their stores.

One builds on a lifetime’s work and experience for Karen Khambata, who was presented with a grant cheque for £7,945 by Fylde Council tourism and leisure committee chairman Coun Michael Sayward.

Karen Khambata from One is presented with her cheque by Coun Michael Sayward

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She established and grew her reputation for providing clothing from various shops, including a Lytham branch of Zig Zag and One in Poulton.

After beginning her search for a new Lytham branch during the pandemic, she has moved into a a former sunbed shop on Church Road.

She said: “I have always wanted to return to the beautiful high street in Lytham and made the decision to pursue this in 2020.

Sarah Brunner receives her cheque from Coun Karen Buckley

“I wasn’t sure if I would be eligible for the ARG Vacant Premises Grant but the team at the council could not have been more helpful.

‘The process was very straightforward and after running into a number of unforeseen issues with the premises it has really helped towards the cost of the refit.”

Goodness Vintage, which specialises in unique vintage furniture, homewares and gifts has opened in Park Road, St Annes and has received £2,586 as part of the grant scheme.

Owner Sarah Brunner is originally from San Francisco and previously has a 20-year career in software engineering in California.

She arrived in the UK with an old van full of continental vintage furniture and a rough plan for a bijou little shop somewhere pretty, safe and near the sea.

Sarah said: “I quickly chose St Annes for its lovely community of independent shops and laid-back environment.

“It’s great to be in an area with so many artists and crafters and lots going on. Over the next months I hope to expand into the first floor of my premises as additional showroom space with more furniture and objects, and maybe room for workshops in upholstery, sewing and crafting.

“The ARG programme has been so helpful for establishing and fitting out the shop.

“I am so pleased to have received the grant and would encourage anyone who is interested in setting up or expanding their business to apply.”

Fylde Council leader, Coun Karen Buckley, who presented the cheque to Sarah, said: "It is wonderful to see two more beautiful stores benefit from this funding and they are both very welcome additions to our high streets.

“Fylde Council continues to deliver on our promise to support the recovery of the local economy following the huge challenges faced during the pandemic and we have had an incredible response to this scheme.

“Almost £100,000 has been allocated so far, with more excellent applications in the pipeline.

“For anyone who is thinking about making their dreams a reality in Fylde the good news is the grant is available for several more months yet!”

Details of how to apply for the grant at new.fylde.gov.uk/ARGvacantpremises

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