Business façade improvement grant applications open

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Over the past seven years 140 businesses have shared more than $1.2 million from the Corangamite Shire Business Façade Improvement Program.

Applications are now open for the 2022-2023 program which will improve the visual appeal, accessibility and functionality of business premises across the shire.

Council has allocated $50,000 in the 2022-2023 Budget.

Works could include:

  • Painting
  • Cleaning
  • Removing redundant signage, air conditioning units and hoardings
  • Installing new business signage
  • Minor repairs to tile or stone accents, structural façade elements, or verandahs
  • Installing interior lighting visible from the street
  • Improvements that promote universal access.

Mayor Ruth Gstrein said the innovative program had been shown to improve the appearance of streetscapes in the towns throughout the Shire.

“Initially the focus was on the main shopping strips to encourage highway users to stop and spend in our towns,” Cr Gstrein said.

“From last year the program was expanded to include businesses outside the retail areas of Corangamite Shire.

“This will make them more attractive to customers and improve the overall appearance of our towns.

“As well as the economic and tourism benefits, beautifying our streets will mean we take even more pride in the unique character of our fantastic towns.”

Manager Growth and Engagement Rory Neeson said any business could be eligible if works on the front of its building are visible from the street.

“Businesses can apply for up to $3,000 (exc. GST) on a $1:$1 basis,” Mr Neeson said.

“Applicants must be able to fund the works and Council will pay its contribution once works are done.

“Council will waive planning fees for successful applicants but building permit fees might still apply.”

Work on buildings in heritage areas will need to meet any relevant planning guidelines.

The program is open to any business in the Shire that has street frontage where the proposed works are visible from the front of the property.

Home based or businesses with no street frontage are not eligible to apply.

If painting is proposed to be completed as part of an application, a proposed colour palette would need to be submitted to Council as part of the application process that would be approved prior to works commencing.

Mr Neeson encouraged businesses to call the Economic Development Team on

5593 7100 to discuss their application for the best chance of success.

Guidelines and an online application form can be found at www.corangamite.vic.gov.au/business.

Applications are open now and will be accepted until 5 pm, Monday 15 August.

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