03 March 2020

Business owners in Knottingley have been supported with Council grants to help improve the appearance of their shop fronts.

The Hill Top Retail Enhancement Fund was launched in January 2019 after the success of a similar project in Wakefield and Pontefract. 

The scheme has allowed businesses to access funding to improve their shop fronts which has improved the visual impact of Hill Top and encourages more people to use the facilities on offer. This will lead to more people visiting the area and supporting the local economy.

The funding could also be used to support internal renovations if this was required to allow empty units to be brought back in to use.

The scheme has been a great success with 10 businesses being supported since the scheme was launched. The total investment in the area is £133,500, with grants totalling £47,500, which has generated a further £86,000 of investment from the businesses.

Before the project began there were four long-term empty units on The Arcade and the scheme has been successful in bringing three of them back in to use including the old Barclays Bank which had been empty for 10 years and a prominent location on the street. A local business has now purchased this and will develop the units into further retail opportunities. 

​Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: “It is fantastic to see the difference these grants have made to the Hill Top area of Knottingley.

“We want to encourage residents to use local amenities and hopefully the new look and feel of the area, as well as some exciting new businesses opening up, will do just that.

“I would encourage business owners in Knottingley and Ferrybridge to get in touch and see how we can help. It has certainly made a big difference to the businesses we have supported so far.”

The Council also supported The Arcade last year by enhancing the parking area in front of the shops - new parking spaces were painted, the drains cleared to reduce flooding and the bollards painted. The whole street is now more appealing and with new businesses starting up, it is hoped there will be an increase of visitors to the area.

Some businesses who have benefitted from the grants include:

Full renovation of Dishy Fish, the long established fish and chip shop which last year was bought and is under new management. The new owners wanted to modernise the shop and make it more appealing and undertook a full renovation which was supported by the grants. This has led to jobs being created for residents of the area.

Chuldrow Martial Arts, who work with children of all ages, needed help with new signage and internal improvements. This has improved the experience for their students and allowed them to expand their already successful business.

ST Plumbing and Evape, which are two of the oldest buildings on Hill Top, received a grant to fully render the front the front of the buildings which were crumbling away. The facades were crumbling and needed specialist rendering, the grant allowed them to undertake this as well as updating signage, windows and doors.

A long term empty unit has been fully renovated and is now Hill Top Café and Deli. The new business has again brought an empty unit back into use and is already bringing more people to The Arcade. They have created four jobs alongside the owner of the business and expect to create more jobs once the business is established.

Family-run business Skinworx is well established with years of experience but required new signage and shop front to improve the appeal of the business. The grant allowed new modern windows and signage to be installed. 

The scheme is now being delivered on Racca Green and in other areas of Knottingley. If any business would like to find out more please email