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Businesses ‘building back better’ with Plan for the Future grants

Francis Wain Jewellers shop front

Published: Tuesday, 21st December 2021

Local businesses are already benefitting from Plan for the Future grants to help them recover from the pandemic and the council is urging more to come forward before the scheme closes.

Francis Wain Jewellers in Norfolk Street is just one of those to benefit.

The family-run business suffered a double whammy due to the pandemic. As well as the impact on trade, its Grade II-listed building sustained serious damage to the roof during the same period.

The business, which has been trading in King’s Lynn for 70 years, was faced with the possibility of severe deterioration to a section of their building.

Although it is unusual for this type of grant to cover building repairs, the particular circumstances in this case meant it was eligible.

As the director of Francis Wain, Donne Kidson, explained: “This grant has, quite literally, enabled us to ‘build back better’.

“We were faced with the prospect of parts of the roof collapsing. We are now once again able to invite customers up to our second floor, which also enables us to keep them safer by increasing our ability to socially distance. It will also help us to reduce our carbon footprint because we will be able to insulate the building more efficiently.

“These grants are there to support businesses to recover from the pandemic and I would encourage other business owners to think about applying so they can come back stronger.”

Plan for the Future grants are operated by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership on behalf of the borough council.

Cllr Stuart Dark MBE, leader of the borough council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, and board member of New Anglia LEP, said: “This is exactly what these grants are for. We’re proud of our track record in supporting businesses through the pandemic and continue to do so with this latest programme.

“We have already helped many businesses to continue trading; these grants will help them to thrive as they move forward. It was a pleasure to hear how Francis Wain Jewellers are using this grant to great effect.”

Grants of £2,500 to £25,000 are still available and the money must be spent by 28 February 2022. The grants can be used to pay for up to 75% of capital and revenue costs to help businesses recover, grow and make them resilient against future events.

Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of the LEP, said: “This kind of support will help businesses in West Norfolk with projects that will make them more resilient in the future, especially those in hospitality, retail and other sectors that have badly hit by the pandemic. I would urge any companies that can show how they might benefit to submit their applications as soon as possible.”

Applicants will need to show how they have been impacted by COVID-19, what they propose to use the money for, how they think this will help the business and how it will make the business sustainable over the long term. In keeping with the borough’s climate change commitments, applicants will also need to show that they are considering the environmental impact of their operations.

To apply contact the New Anglia Growth Hub on 0300 333 6536 or email

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