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The Shop Front Improvement Scheme launched in East Ayrshire in 2022 with the objective of supporting businesses to improve their shop fronts, in turn helping to improve the shopping streets in our towns and villages.

The Scheme has been a community led initiative, with anchor community groups and business associations taking on responsibility of delivering the funding. This involvement empowered the anchor groups to direct funding to the places that needed it most.

AJ Cosmetics video

Watch a video interview with Amy from AJ Cosmetics Beauty Salon in Kilmarnock where she talks about how the Shop Front Improvement Scheme has helped her business attract more clients.

The process

The groups were responsible for deciding on the:

  • capped amount of funding per applicant
  • boundary of the area that they wanted to see improvements in
  • scoring and evaluation of applications

Our Community Led Regeneration team supported the anchor groups throughout the entire process.

In year one £127,000 of funding was available. This comprised of £107,000 from Place Based Investment Programme and £20,000 of the Scotland Loves Local Fund.

Funding awarded in year one
AmountLocationAnchor group
£45,000 Kilmarnock Celebrate Kilmarnock
£30,000 Cumnock Cumnock Business Association
£22,000 Stewarton Stewarton Initiatives
£10,000 Darvel Darvel Area Regeneration Team
£10,000 Newmilns Newmilns Regeneration Area
£10,000 Crosshouse Crosshouse Action Now

In year two the funding came from Place Based Investment Programme and is currently being distributed in five communities.

Funding awarded in year two
AmountLocationAnchor group
£60,000 Kilmarnock Kilmarnock Business Association
£15,000 Stewarton Stewarton Initiatives
£10,000 Crosshouse Kilmarnock Business Association
£18,000 Cumnock and surrounding area New Cumnock Development Trust
£18,000 Doon Valley Dalmellington Parish Development Trust

Quotes from businesses

It is a great scheme. I would not have been able to afford it. Not only has it improved the front of my shop, there has been a big improvement in the whole high street as many other businesses used the fund too.


The difference this has made to our business is not only a visual one, but will now allow us to invest in the interior of the shop.

Having endured a difficult two years during Coronavirus (COVID-19) we were going to toss a coin to see whether it was inside or outside we going to improve, but this funding has allowed us to do both which we are very grateful for.


Makes the street much brighter and makes our shop more professional looking. As a charity we could not justify using the money we raise to improve our shop front.


Contact Information


Community Led Regeneration Team
Council Headquarters
London Road
Telephone: 01563 576075