SHOP owners in Chard can now apply for grants to improve the look of their premises.

The building repair and shop front improvement grants are being being launched as part of the Chard High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ).

The scheme is now open, with grants available for up to 70% of eligible costs for the repair and renovation of historic buildings and shop fronts.

It will run until March 2024, with applications accepted until September 1 2023.

South Somerset District Council (SSDC) has said improving the condition of buildings in the town is a key part of the Chard Regeneration Programme.

Cllr Jason Baker, portfolio holder for Chard Regeneration, said: “We are very pleased to be able to support local businesses with the repair and rejuvenation of their premises.

"An attractive shop front will help drive visitors to businesses and repairs to front elevations will improve the experience of the high street as a whole.

"We hope that all eligible property owners or tenants take up this time-limited opportunity."

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To find out if you are eligible for the grant and for details on how to apply, visit

Those who are eligible can contact the Chard HSHAZ project manager, Anna Matthews, for an initial conversation to discuss the project.

The business owners will then need to complete an application form.

To contact Anna, email or call 01935 462958.

Grant schemes similar to this have also taken place elsewhere in the UK, and have proven to be successful.

One scheme in particular was launched in Falmouth.

A business owner from the town said: “Trade has definitely increased, as a result of the works, within our building and the town.

"The works completed by the scheme has uplifted Falmouth which is now a well visited town throughout the year.”

To ensure that the shop fronts in Chard are suited to the town's character, SSDC is in the process of creating a Chard Shop Front Design Guide.

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The consultation for this is currently underway.

To find out more about the Chard Regeneration Programme and the grant scheme, visit

Chard has been designated a High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) and secured £2m funding to revitalise its town centre.

More than £1m of government high streets funding from Historic England has been matched by more than £1m by SSDC to make lasting improvements to the high street.