Clare Farm Shop gets a fresh lick of paint thanks to council’s new shop front painting grant

Pictured are Cllr Alaric Pugh and Shara Browning at Clare Farm Shop

Pictured are Cllr Alaric Pugh and Shara Browning at Clare Farm Shop - Credit: Archant

A family-run shop in west Suffolk has become the first to receive a new grant aimed at helping independent businesses to grow trade.

Clare Farm Shop, in Clare, is the first to benefit from St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s new shop front painting scheme.

The initiative, which is only open to independent traders, allows them to apply for up to three quarters of the costs of repainting the front of their premises.

Leanne Morris, who with business partner Shara Browning owns the Market Hill shop, said: “This has made such a difference.

“The front is the first bit of the shop that our customers see and it is quite important that it looks good.

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“We have recently invested in refurbishing the inside of the shop, and the new-look shop front really completes the job.

“We have been here 16 years and have built up a good customer base during that time and a lot of them have been commenting about how amazing the new shop front looks.”

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Alaric Pugh, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet member for planning and growth and ward member for Clare, said: “We have a strong mix of independent businesses here in Clare, while the town is also popular with tourists especially in the summer.

“All of these tourists are potential new customers and first impressions are hugely important. That first impression will start and quite possibly end with the appearance of the shop front.

“It can make all the difference as to whether a passer-by is enticed into discovering a business and spending their money or if they are simply put off before they have even opened the door.”

A further seven independent businesses across the two districts are in the process of receiving their grant via the scheme, which is also available in Forest Heath. There is still money available for six additional grants to be awarded during this financial year.

It is available on a first come, first served basis and is subject to terms and conditions including a maximum grant of £500 per applicant.

For details, contact the council’s economic growth officer Natasha Brockett on 01638 719285 or email

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