SHOP and business owners in Basingstoke’s Top of The Town can bid for cash support to improve the front of their buildings.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council will give applicants up to £5,000 in a bid to make the historic area more attractive to shoppers.

The council has put £40,000 into the scheme, which they hope will encourage business owners to give their buildings a facelift.

Councillor Ranil Jayawardena, the council’s deputy leader, said: “Some of the building frontages have not been well maintained, are poorly designed and are not in keeping with the character of the area, bringing down the look and feel of our town's historic heart.

“We need to improve the quality of the Top of The Town – making it a nicer place to visit – and the building fronts have a significant impact on this. By sharing the cost of the improvement works, we hope to encourage more property owners to follow the lead of buildings such as the United Reformed Church and The Willis Museum, which have both had recent facelifts."

The cash offer is for businesses located in London Street, Winchester Street, Church Street, Winton Square, Cross Street, Wote Street and Market Place.

Businesses can apply for help at front.