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Businesses in South Essex thankful for quick adaptation grants to improve their outdoor space for customers

29 Apr Businesses in South Essex thankful for quick adaptation grants to improve their outdoor space for customers

Several south Essex businesses have improved their outdoor spaces for customers ahead of the summer months, thanks to the quick and easy application process for the Essex County Council (ECC) Business Adaptation Grant.

Megarrys Antiques and Teashop in Blackmore, Brentwood Brewing Company and the Ingatestone & Fryerning Community Centre all enhanced their outdoor space using adaptation grants from Brentwood Borough Council.

Judi Wood has run Megarrys Antiques and Teashop in Blackmore for 27 years. She said that without grant support she would not have been able to adapt. She is hugely thankful for the changes the grant has allowed her to make.

“The process of receiving our grant was very easy and the people I spoke to at the district council were extremely helpful and understanding. They made the process painless and I am very grateful to all involved. It really helped to cushion the process of getting back to normal trading.”
Judi bought a new iPad and e-payment machine for online banking, plus a gazebo and large umbrella to protect the takeaway stall. New picnic tables have also helped create a larger patio area.

“We had to completely re-organise both the teashop and the antique shop so that they work for social distancing,” she said. “The teashop now has seven extra seats for customers, even with the further spacing between tables.”

Roland Kannor at Brentwood Brewing Company was pleased to receive the ECC Business Adaptation Grant to improve the outdoor space at their venue. “We used our adaptation grant to develop an outdoor seating area for customer use as we emerge from lockdown under new restrictions. We bought new tables and table-top barrels, a tent canopy and outdoor heating.”

“We’re really thankful for the support we received to keep the brewery operating and trading safely after lockdown,” he added. “We look forward to hosting more events thanks to our improved outdoor area.”

Ingatestone & Fryerning Community Centre used their adaptation grant to buy two new teak benches for their outdoor area. They received the grant within four days of applying. Jenny Fowle at Ingatestone & Fryerning Community Association said: “We really appreciated the efficiency and effectiveness of the team giving the grants, who made it so simple to apply.”

“The new benches mean we have extra seating for friends to meet up safely outdoors. We plan to make further improvements outside to make sure it is a safe space for social distancing as we emerge from lockdown.”
ECC has worked closely with local councils across Essex to streamline the application and approval process. Businesses can apply through their local council for an ECC Business Adaptation Grant of up to £1,500 until July 2021. It can help with the costs of carrying out adjustments, improving business offerings, complying with enhanced trading rules or buying extra equipment for the safety of staff and customers.

Businesses should apply directly through their local council for the ECC Business Adaptation Grant and to find out about other available grants.