The following projects have been completed since November 2018 (Find out more about the scheme and apply):
The Cactus Kiss and Sew Useful
A new shop in Bench Street, Dover has been opened by two entrepeneurs that both started out in the Co-Innovation centre where they were given the chance to start-up and grow their businesses until they were ready to move into the town centre. The Cactus Kiss and Sew Useful have together transformed this unloved premises into a beautiful new shop, with help from a £10,000 empty property grant. Owners Wendy and Melanie officially opened the shop on Saturday 17 April 2021. Wendy is the owner of Cactus Kiss, a houseplant styling specialist and Melanie from Sew Useful creates hand-made bespoke sewn items including bags and purses.
Taylor-Jones & Son, High Street, Deal
A £1,000 shopfront grant has helped spruce up this contemporary art gallery in Deal High Street.
Two's Company, High St, Deal
A ladies clothes shop in Deal High Street has received a £1,000 grant to repaint the shopfront.
Margherita’s, King St, Deal
A Mediterranean-style restaurant/deli has opened its doors to Deal residents and visitors with help from a £10,000 business grant.
The fully licenced business serves Italian and Mediterranean cuisine and has a wide range of plant-based and healthy eating options. Margherita’s will serve hand crafted pizzas, traditional Italian hot food, Deli and Italian gelato ice-cream for ‘dine in’, ‘take-away’ and evening home delivery.
The grant contributed towards refurbishment of the dilapidated windows and facia structures, internal renovation, flooring and lighting, turning an empty shell into a fully compliant commercial premises. The premises also benefitted from Kent's No Use Empty loan scheme which is available for both residential and commercial properties.
Ivy Rose, Castle Street, Dover
A new wedding shop opened in Castle Street, Dover in January 2020. Owners Amy and Kerrie were delighted to receive the grant and are looking forward to helping their customers get everything they need for their big day.
Blakes, Castle Street, Dover
Bar and restaurant, Blakes in Dover received a £1,000 grant towards a shop front refurbishment which included a new window and a fresh, smart new coat of paint.
Barkened, Deal High Street
Barkened opened in December 2019 and is a lifestyle shop that designs and handcrafts their own goods and supports other independent makers, selling 'thoughtful' products that are focussed around people, dogs and homes.
Barkened received a grant of £10,000 which helped the owners Emma and Rob to carry out a complete renovation and restoration of a beautiful heritage building in the conservation area of Deal, ensuring it stands for many years to come retaining its character as a shop with living accommodation.
Rhino and Bull's, King Street, Dover
A beautiful old building in King St, Dover has been refurbished to become a smart new bar, Rhino & Bull’s, with help from a £10,000 Town Centre Business Grant. Owner, Carl Ambrose, said: “It’s a fabulous old building and thanks to the grant from DDC we’ve worked hard to create something special with the interior which provides a warm welcome whether you’re looking for a morning coffee or an evening cocktail.”
A ladies clothes shop in Sandwich town centre has received £1,000 towards repairs to the exterior of the building. Pictured above is Carolyn Grillsley from Collection.
The Old Pharmacy, King St, Sandwich
A new café/bar in Sandwich was awarded a grant of £10,000 to help with renovation costs. The café/bar serves a range of locally sourced produce.
Andrew from The Old Pharmacy said: “We’d like to thank DDC for the grant which helped make this possible. After a lot of hard work and fun we are excited to finally open and look forward to being part of the Sandwich hospitality scene.”
Hope and Lane, High St, Deal
Hope and Lane in Deal received £1,000 towards renovation works. The front and side of the café was is in poor repair and needed work to remedy rot and general deterioration. The property was also repainted externally and a smart new sign was installed.
Dickens Corner, Market Square, Dover
New bakery and café, The Market Square Kitchen, now trades from the refurbished Dickens Corner in Dover’s Market Square. We awarded £10,000 towards the refurbishment of the Tudor style property which is one of the most prominent buildings in the Market Square. The building has a long history as a bakery and is mentioned in Charles Dickens’ novel, David Copperfield, from the author’s visits to the town.
59 Biggin Street, Dover
Hamdy Shahein was awarded a £10,000 grant to help refurbish the ground floor and shopfront of his property at 59 Biggin Street, Dover, which had been empty for over a year. Hamdy has installed a new shopfront which includes new doorway leading to the upper floors which he converted into a new flat. The shop has been leased to a recruitment company.
Elephant and Hind, Market Square, Dover
The Elephant and Hind opened July 2019 with help from a grant of £10,000 to help with refurbishment costs.
Harry Richardson from the Elephant and Hind said : “We are delighted to be reopening the Elephant and Hind and aim to provide the Market Square and the local community with a relaxed and welcoming community venue. We will be serving pastries and coffee in the mornings plus fresh pizzas throughout the day and evening, made with sour dough from the bakery that will shortly be opening across the square in Dickens Corner. We are a dog friendly establishment and will be providing a variety of entertainment including live music and quizzes. We would like to thank Dover District Council for their help and support during these renovations and are excited to be part of the regeneration of this wonderful town.”
Gamebase, Unit 3a 11-16 Biggin Street, Dover
When Game decided not to renew the lease on its Biggin Street store in Dover, former employee, James Pearce, seized the opportunity and has now opened his own digital gaming business, Gamebase.
As well as selling computer and digital games, James has redeveloped the store to include a gaming arena, where gamers can play their favourite new and classic games. The venue offers competitions and parties with refreshments also on sale.
James Pearce said: “We’re delighted to bring something different to Dover in what is a combined game store and gaming arena for all ages. We strive to create a new social environment with pay-per-play, birthday parties, private hire, competitions and league events. It’s something different in the town centre to help its wider regeneration.”
Lava Lounge, 31 Biggin Street, Dover
Lava Lounge was awarded a grant of £10,000 from DDC to help with refurbishment costs, and opened in May 2019.
Ben Dowle from the Lava Lounge said: “We would like to thank Dover District Council for helping us to bring Lava Lounge to Dover’s Town Centre. The grant money has been put towards the refurbishment costs and we are very excited to be opening for the people of Dover to enjoy.”
Europa Fish & Chips, 9 Bench St, Dover
Europa Fish and Chips on Bench Street, Dover, was awarded a grant of £1,000 for rendering, painting and new signage.
Urban Calm, 6 Bench Street, Dover
Our first town centre business grant of £8.5k was awarded to sisters Sacha and Leanne Eastwell who have opened a new beauty salon, named Urban Calm, in Bench Street, Dover.
Sacha and Leanne chose the premises in Bench Street due to it's proximity to the nearby St James’ retail and leisure development.
Sacha Eastwell said: “Receiving the grant has allowed us to refurbish the new salon, enabling us to create more beauty facilities available for local beauticians or apprentices to come and join our team. We feel the contribution has given us a much better chance of not only growing our own businesses, but helping to create a professional work space for others, and we are very grateful for the grant funding, which has contributed towards our new venture.”
Joanne Harmer Gallery, 134 High Street, Deal
The Joanne Harmer Art Gallery has been given a new splash of colour after being awarded a grant of £1,000 for external repairs, repainting and redecoration.
Brunch, 22 Biggin Street, Dover
An independent cafe in Dover was awarded a grant of £1,000 for a shop frontage refurbishment and roof repairs.
Dan and Ellen from Brunch said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this grant, and would like to say a big thank you to Dover District Council. This will help us to provide further renovations, and we look forward to continuing to provide a high level of service in a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the town.”
Find out more about the scheme and apply »