‘Give us creative ideas’ – call to businesses as Ilford Town Centre grant scheme launched

Ben Collins, Business Improvement District manager

Ben Collins, Business Improvement District manager - Credit: Archant

Creative, “out of the box” thinking from independent traders that will give their business and the surrounding area a boost are being sought.

Ilford Business Improvement District (BID) has set aside £10,000 as part of a grant scheme aimed at helping independent stores in Ilford Town Centre.

And creative ideas have been placed at the heart of the scheme.

Applications for a portion of the grant could include plans to improve the look and feel of the outside of a company’s premises.

BID manager Ben Collins, who described the grant as a “major opportunity” in challenging times, said: “Creativity is key.

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“Businesses should think about what they, or a group of businesses on the same street could do, with a grant of up to £3,000 to improve the look and feel of the trading area.

“I am looking forward to receiving as many innovative applications as possible.”

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The scheme is open to any independent in the BID, which is a scheme incorporating about 460 businesses.

Each pays 1.2 per cent of their rateable value into the BID each year

Nadia Ohaka, store manager of Debenhams in Exchange Ilford, High Road, Ilford, has backed the grant scheme.

She said: “It is vital that independent businesses have access to the support they might need.

“The independent stores are key to the identity of Ilford Town Centre and I am delighted to be asked to join the panel as to who will be awarded the grants.”

Businesses can apply for grants of between £500 and £3,000 and the decision on who the grants will be awarded to will be made by an independent Ilford BID judging panel after the closing date of June 30.

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