NORTHAMPTON Borough Council's Business Incentive Scheme has helped breathe new life into one of the town's best-known restaurants.
Since the Royal Bengal on Bridge Street closed last year, the scheme has provided crucial funding to refurbish the building, including the interior and a new frontage, to make it attractive to new tenants.
The restaurant is to reopen as Five Lads, a piri piri chicken restaurant, after it was let by Hadland Chartered Surveyors on a new 15-year lease at £24,000 per annum.
The Business Incentive Scheme was launched in 2014 to assist new and existing businesses to support the local economy and create jobs. It offers grants to businesses looking to take a vacant unit in the town centre, in an industrial area, or those wishing to extend retail floor areas or improve shop frontages.
The scheme is intended to improve the trading environment in the town through reducing the number of empty units and improving the retail offering to attract more shoppers while at the same time creating more jobs.
By the end of 2017 it had supported 141 businesses and helped create 691 jobs. The scheme is set to run to 2020.
Elliott Halliwell from Hadlands, said: "The landlord was keen to upgrade the premises to attract new tenants and the Business Incentive Scheme made that worthwhile. The grants are applied for retrospectively, so the work has to be done before the application goes in, but it is obviously a major benefit to anyone looking to upgrade premises.
"Anyone looking to purchase premises with a view to letting should bear in mind the incentives available."