Alnwick Chamber of Trade has teamed up with Northumberland Estates to come up with a scheme designed to encourage aesthetic improvements to the town.
The Duke of Northumberland’s development company is supporting the initiaitive by allocating an unspecified sum from its Community Fund.
Vanessa Proudlock, community and education officer at Northumberland Estates, explained: “We are very conscious that things have been difficult for the entire business community in Alnwick including the smaller independent retailers and those offering beauty treatments and other personal services.
"We are therefore delighted to be working in partnership with the Alnwick Chamber of Trade by funding this scheme via the Northumberland Estates Community Fund which aims to offer some of these businesses a measure of financial support as they move towards reopening post lockdown.”
She added: “The scheme has been specifically designed to encourage improvements which enhance the appearance of the town as well as enabling businesses to take additional measures to make their businesses Covid safe when able to reopen.
"It is open to all paid up members of the Chamber of Trade with funds allocated on a first come first served basis.
“During the pandemic the community spirit in Alnwick has really come to the fore, so it is great to be able to play a part as we all get ready for the return of visitors to the town.”
Non-essential retailers have been closed for nearly three months but could be allowed to reopen from Monday, April 12 in line with the next phase of the Government’s easing of restrictions.
Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade and owner of menswear store Hotspur 1364, said: “I’m both overwhelmed and thrilled at this very kind contribution from Northumberland Estates.
"It really is a great help to get our independents back to business. It is fabulous to have this kind of support and very very much appreciated, I can’t wait to see the difference it will make to the town.”
Businesses are invited to make applications by April 12 via email to [email protected] or call 07841973270.