Grants available to bring historic shopfronts and buildings back to life

view up Sleaford high street

Two schemes will enhance local high streets and life in communities by supporting the repair and reinstatement of historic shopfronts and buildings.

Owners and occupiers of commercial properties in the Sleaford town centre conservation area can apply now for the Sleaford Shopfront Grant Scheme made available by North Kesteven District Council using the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The project has received £150,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The scheme offers grants for the targeted repair and replacement of shopfronts, focusing on reinstating lost or damaged features of historic properties and bringing back traditional shopfronts where there are modern ones.

Grants through this scheme can also extend to other traditional elements of building frontages including on upper levels, such as the repair and replacement of windows and doors, roof and leadwork repairs, replacement or repair of guttering, structural and non-structural repairs to external walls, brickwork and stonework cleaning, the repair or replacement of external features such as masonry, and repainting. Works to signage and fascias can also be funded.    

Each grant can be up to 90% of the total cost of works. Projects must complete their spend of the funds by December 2024. For more details email the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire at or and quote ‘Sleaford Shopfront Grant Scheme’. 

The council’s Heritage Grant Scheme continues its success meanwhile, with another £25,000 available in total for distribution as grants for projects across North Kesteven within the 2023 to 2024 financial year. The £25,000 scheme is popular, with grants in 2022 to 2023 completely spending up that year’s fund.

The Heritage Grant Scheme gives between £1,200 to £3,000 for works to historic residential and commercial buildings throughout North Kesteven to help owners preserve and enhance its built heritage by encouraging sympathetic repair.

Works covered include the restoration or reinstatement of original windows and doors, brickwork and stonework repairs and repointing, repairs to chimneys and the repair or reinstatement of traditional boundary walls, railings and steps. 

Grants are available through the Heritage Grant Scheme for:

  • 80% of the total cost of eligible works for Listed Buildings (up to a maximum grant of £3,000)
  • or 60% of the total cost of eligible works for buildings in a Conservation Area (up to a maximum grant of £1,800)
  • or 50% of the total cost of eligible works for properties included on the Council’s ‘local list’ of non-designated heritage assets or where they meet the criteria for inclusion (up to a maximum grant of £1,200). The list and listing criteria are on our conservation heritage page.

The application form for the Heritage Grant Scheme is available on our conservation heritage page.

To check eligibility, contact the Planning team on 01529 414155 or email planning.

North Kesteven District Council Leader Councillor Richard Wright said:

“These schemes aim to enhance and preserve more of our District’s unique character, and we’d encourage anybody interested in them to get in touch. Sleaford’s history is folded into the fabric of its historic shopfronts. By repairing and restoring them together, we can avoid the slow loss over time of the detail which makes Sleaford so distinct as a place to live, work and visit. The town’s Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan also highlights the need to invest in premises to support heritage, and attractive shopfronts help increase pride of place which is a key UKSPF outcome. Our Heritage Grant Scheme meanwhile has seen great success across North Kesteven, with a number of historic residential and commercial buildings including businesses and shopfronts restored sympathetically by owners and occupiers making use of this grant help. We’re so pleased to be continuing it. Enhancing and reinstating the traditional elements of buildings protects their historic features and supports their longevity. It also helps enable the regeneration needed for North Kesteven’s long-term future.”

The Heritage Grant Scheme has already paid out over £60,000 to 30 completed projects since it was launched in 2019, with many more in the projects underway. 

The Sleaford Shopfront Grant Scheme follows a previous scheme for improvements to historic shopfronts launched back in 2015, called the Sleaford Partnership Scheme in Conservation Areas. Its partners included Historic England and Sleaford Town Council. By the end of the scheme 13 projects had benefitted from grants of almost £290,000 in total drawn down from the funding pot, including listed buildings and others important to the character of the town centre and conservation area.

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