Local schemes to benefit businesses

Shop front improvement scheme

Our shop front improvement scheme offers grants to improve shop fronts in priority areas.

Businesses and owners of vacant retail units can apply for a grant of up to £3,000 towards external renovation or improvement of their premises.

The scheme aims to improve shop fronts as a way of supporting the growth of local businesses, improving the local environment and raising the image of the area amongst local residents and visitors.

The scheme is funded directly from the £100,000 High Street Innovation Fund awarded to us by the Department for Communities and Local Government to reduce the level of vacant properties in the borough.

Priority areas

Several areas in the borough have been particularly affected by a reduced level of private investment and high levels of retail unit vacancy. This scheme is available both to existing independent businesses and owners of vacant units that are located within these central retail areas:

  • Aveley
  • Grays town centre
  • Socketts Heath
  • South Ockendon
  • Stanford-le-Hope


Almost all works that change the exterior of buildings will need planning permission. You must make a separate planning application, with scale drawings that show the extent of all new work. If you are using a professional agent, they will be able to give you advice on the consent you need. You can also use our planning pre-application advice service.

Go to our planning applications web pages to find out more.

You can apply for Shop Front Improvement Scheme funding using the application form below. Please read the guidance notes first.

Forms should be returned to:

Regeneration Team
Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL

: 01375 652 271

: business@thurrock.gov.uk