Urban Vision Shop Front Scheme
Salford Councils contractors monopoly.
Please read below details of a letter which we have obtained which raises concerns regarding the Hamilton Davies Funded, Salford City Council administered Shop Front Improvement Scheme.
RE: URBAN VISION SHOP FRONT SCHEME
As owner/landlord of 577 and 579 Liverpool Road, Irlam I am writing to shopkeepers/shop owners to express my concerns about the Hamilton Davies funded, Salford City Council administered Shop Front Improvement Scheme because as presently formulated the scheme may cost shop proprietors (and Hamilton Davies) a lot of money and inconvenience and yet end up with less satisfactory shop fronts overall.
First and foremost is Salford Council's new insistence (this has not applied to previous Phase 1 shop front improvement grants) that shutters should be internal and not externally mounted. This for many shops would defeat the main purpose of shutters (protecting glass frontages) and in all cases expose the shops to much greater risk than external shutters do.
I also think it scandalous that Salford Council is insisting only one contractor, their own nominated contractor may be used for the works which through lack of competition is massively increasing the costs -I suspect some other contractors would willingly do the work for a small fraction of the cost of this contractor. This is particularly important as the grant is good for the first £8,000 (at 90%), poor for the next £8,000 (at 50%) and non-existent beyond £16,000. From the point of view of shopkeepers it is therefore of enormous importance that as far as possible the total cost is kept within £8,000.
I also have some concern that much of the Hamilton Davies grant money is being recycled to Salford Council (via Urban Vision) who would get planning fees and quite possibly design or other fees who would then improperly be exploiting their administration of the scheme.
I therefore believe it is important that shopkeepers or shop owners tell Salford Council they will not participate in the scheme unless:
(i) External shuttering continues to be allowed
(ii) As in most other grants, the client rather than the Council is permitted to choose the works contractor.
I am happy to help coordinate a shopkeepers' reaction to help facilitate this. If you share these concerns, please do contact me.
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