Published: 20 March 2024

From: Economy

A £128,000 fund has been created to support independent and small shops across the borough and to pay for town centre improvement works.

Eligible businesses in Crawley town centre and the neighbourhood parades will be able to bid for grants of up to £5,000 toward significant visual improvements to their frontage, or physical improvements to frontline business operations.

This could be for minor building works, lighting and decoration or point of sale upgrades. Up to four adjoining businesses can also make a joint bid for a maximum of £20,000.

Members of Crawley Borough Council’s Cabinet agreed at a meeting last night to establish the Shop Front and High Street Improvement Programme, which will also include opportunities to deliver small scale physical improvements to The Broadway, Broadwalk and High Street.

The council will engage with local independent retailers, businesses in those areas and the Town Centre Business Improvement District to identify the improvement works which will deliver the greatest benefits.

One aim of the Shop Front and High Street Improvement Programme is to support the independent retail sector to make important investment in their premises in a difficult trading environment. The council will also discuss with town centre businesses, the Town Centre BID and other stakeholders how we can best use some of this funding to deliver positive improvements to the business environment on The Broadway, Broadwalk and High Street to help encourage greater footfall. Across Crawley, we hope the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 will give businesses from our highly valued independent retail sector the chance to make improvements which they might not have had the funds or confidence to make before now.

Councillor Michael Jones


Crawley Borough Council

The fund is made up of £70,000 from the government to improve high streets, and £58,000 from Crawley’s share of the West Sussex Business Rates Pool. It replaces the council’s Retail Improvement Grant Scheme.

Changes to the previous grant criteria include an increase in the maximum possible amount to £5,000 and removing the requirement for the businesses to match fund at least a quarter of the total cost.

Details of how to apply for a grant will be published soon. There is more information about support from the council to business on the Crawley Borough Council website.

tags: small business, independent, grants, fund