Shop Front Improvement Scheme 2021
Supporting A Better Business Environment
Improving the appearance of shopfronts and business premises and promoting the commercial potential of neighbourhoods in Ballymun-Finglas, is a key objective of Dublin City Council as part of the wider regeneration of some of Dublin's oldest and most distinctive areas.
Dublin City Council Ballymun Area Office now invites applications from commercial premises in the Ballymun-Finglas area for support funding under the Shopfront Improvement Scheme 2021. Business that are located in the local electoral area of Ballymun - Finglas are eligible for the scheme.
The objective of the scheme is to support commercial premises owners who contribute positively to their local environment, and who in turn attract increased local and visitor footfall to their area.
The scheme also seeks to encourage best practice approaches to shopfront design, maintenance and presentation; the conservation of historic features where appropriate; and the overall enhancement of commercial streets and shopping areas.
The improvement scheme provides for up to 50% of the cost of a ground floor shopfront refurbishment, depending on the work proposed (see table below), with a maximum allowable contribution of €3,000 per applicant. Assistance will not be offered in retrospect to costs already incurred for the improvement of shopfronts.
Where the applicant is a lessee, the application should be made with the consent of the landlord. This requirement will not apply in the case of rolling leases where the lessee can demonstrate continuity for a minimum period of 2 years.
The applicant must not be in arrears as to any payments of rates* or charges to Dublin City Council. Participation in an agreed payment plan with the Commercial Rates Office will be considered as compliance. Under Revenue rules, applicants are also required to confirm tax compliance.
* This relates to the period prior to commercial rates waiver introduced by government on 27th March 2020.
Grants Available To Individual Shops
Type of Work available up to Max. of €2,000
- Paint and redecorate shop front
- Decluttering and repair of shop fronts
- Measures to ‘green’ and enhance attractiveness of shop fronts or outdoor terraces/seating areas through planting
Type of Work available up to Max. of €3,000
- Replace shopfront and/or signage (planning permission generally required)
- Material changes to shopfront such as new entrances, changes to windows etc. (planning permission generally required)
- Changes to facilitate universal access (planning permission may be required)
Planning Permissions And Licensing
Planning permission is usually required for substantial works to the front of a building, such as material changes to the façade or installing a new shopfront. Generally minor work to redecorate or repair shopfronts is termed ‘exempted development’, meaning it does not require planning permission.
Applicants should also be aware that any works to a protected structure (sometimes called ‘listed buildings’) require planning permission or the prior agreement of Dublin City Council.
Where a building is a protected structure, works that materially alter the character or appearance of the building, such as the replacement of windows or doors, replacement or addition of signage, addition of canopies and awnings, externally-mounted security shutters, replacement of upper floor windows or other features integral to the building require prior agreement or a grant of planning permission. You can find further information on planning permissions at www.dublincity.ie/planning
The operation of an external seating area on the public pavement is subject to licence by Dublin City Council. For further details, please see: Apply for a Tables and Chairs Licence
Advice on how to undertake a successful shopfront refurbishment and source suitable contractor is available under this scheme. In certain instances, applicants may avail of advice from both the Planning Department and City Architects Division on design proposals and planning permission requirements.
Note that it is the applicant's responsibility to gain the necessary planning permissions, and applications for planning permission will not be dealt with through the application process for this scheme.
Design Principles for Better Shopfronts
An attractive shopfront to your premises will support the overall attractiveness of your street and help to improve footfall to the area. This scheme supports the following design principles:
- Shop signage should be limited: For the most part one main fascia sign and, where previously permitted, one projecting signage to be located at fascia level.
- Signage should be of good quality: Traditional painted lettering or individual fixed mounted lettering is preferred for signage. Plastic fascia’s, light boxes, foam board and canvas banners are not supported.
- Signage should be at ground floor level. The addition of high-level signage (i.e. from first floor up) is not permitted. The removal of old high-level signage is supported (and you may benefit from a higher grant level if this is facilitated).
- Choice of colour is important: The use of garish or visually strident colours across the entire shopfront is not supported and careful use of colour that works in harmony with the materials of the building is encouraged. Matt paint finishes are generally more durable and work best with other materials such as brick or masonry.
- Open and engaging shopfronts, even after dark: Security shutters should be internally-mounted wherever possible, and a clear and attractive shop window maintained at all times. Lighting fixtures should be attractive and good quality. Architectural lighting to illuminate upper floors is encouraged.
- Clutter-free for a tidier street: The removal of redundant wiring, alarm boxes and utilities on premises is encouraged and requested under this scheme.
Further information on good shopfront design can be found by consulting Dublin City Council Shopfront Guidelines or Section 16.24: Development Standards for Retail of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022 available at www.dublincity.ie.
How to Apply
- Complete the Application Form.
- Enclose relevant plans, design and specification for proposed works.
- Enclose quotation/s from your chosen contractor/s to match the expenditure outlined.
- Enclose evidence of ownership of the unit or lease agreement if required. Please note it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they have permission to undertake work to the building under their lease or rental agreement.
The closing date for applications is 4pm on Monday 31st May 2021. Incentives awarded under the scheme will be notified to applicants in writing. Grants will be disbursed, subject to available funding and the recommendation of an Assessment Panel, to projects that offer the most benefit to their streets.
Works should be carried out within 4 months of approval of the grant or within 4 months of planning permission being granted where required.
Please contact Liam Barry, Economic Development Officer, Ballymun Area Office for further details on this scheme - ph. 01 222 5652 or email [email protected]