Grants to help Sheffield suburb shops

Funding is to be offered to help shops in Darnall improve their premises
Funding is to be offered to help shops in Darnall improve their premises
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Shopkeepers are to be offered up to £5,000 each to revamp their stores in a rundown area of Sheffield.

The funding is being made available in Darnall to help struggling retailers improve the area after a lack of progress in the hunt for a big name ‘anchor’ store for the area.

Sheffield Council is offering the cash from its £300,000 Local Growth Fund.

The announcement has been welcomed by Darnall Forum, which represents residents and businesses - and which has good news of its own, too.

Neil Bishop, forum manager, revealed that Darnall Post Office, run by the organisation, is to be upgraded into a main branch with a new look and a cash machine.

He said: “Although what the council is offering is not a huge amount of money, we would welcome anything that helps improve the area.”

Taha Saleh, chairman of Darnall Action Group, added: “All I can say is it’s about time. At first, I felt the money could be better-used to create facilities for young people. However, hopefully this will be good news for my area.”

Sheffield Council said it was supporting local shopping centres - and that Darnall had been singled out because it is one of the ‘worst performing’.

Coun Harry Harpham, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, said: “Darnall has all the ingredients to be a thriving and successful district shopping centre – a strong community, a good range of shops and community facilities, and access to transport.

“But the quality of the shopping is poor in relation to other centres.

“This scheme will help create an attractive centre.”