Dublin City Council’s Shopfront Improvement Scheme in South West Inner City supported over €200,000 worth of investment by businesses in 2022. The scheme, which was established as a pilot on Thomas Street in 2015, has expanded in recent years to cover all the main commercial centres of Dublin 8, including The Liberties, Kilmainham, Inchicore and Rialto.
In total, 31 projects were approved this year, although a number of these projects have yet to be completed. The projects ranged from refurbished pub fronts on The Coombe and Dolphin’s Barn Street, to improved community and enterprise spaces, to the continued improvements to shops and cafes in Inchicore.
“The majority of applicants to the scheme are simply looking to repaint their shopfronts,” says Stephen Coyne, who coordinates the scheme for Dublin City Council, “and the scheme typically covers half the cost of this type of work. It’s a great way of keeping our commercial streets and shopping areas looking fresh and inviting.”
However the scheme can also be a handy additional support for more significant upgrades of premises, particularly as owners or tenants have faced increased costs in 2022 to get projects across the line. “Projects such as the refurbishment of The Magnet bar on Thomas Street, or Massey Bros and The Signature Florist on Cork Street may well have happened anyway, but the support of the SIS rewards this positive investment in the streets of the area.”
Applicants to the scheme can apply for support funding of 50% of the costs of work up to a maximum grant of €3,000. This year, in total just over €200,000 worth of investment was proposed by 31 projects, supported by Dublin City Council to the value of €56,000.
Stephen Coyne: “Businesses have a huge role to play in maintaining the quality and attractiveness of the area. Committing to a refresh of paint every 2 to 3 years, or protecting and enhancing heritage features on your building and adhering to good design with signage, light etc are great ways for local shops and services to contribute to the continued success of the area.”
The Shopfront Improvement Scheme 2023 will be advertised in February.