Empty shops in some parts of Brent could benefit from £25,000 worth of funding to help revitalise them following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Brent Council launched a scheme in collaboration with “vacant space activators” Meanwhile Space CIC in Church End, Neasden, and Willesden Green wards, which offers landlords the chance to make improvements to their premises.

It seeks to boost activity in Brent’s town centres – described as “the lifeblood” of the local economy – as part of the wider recovery from the pandemic.

According to the council, this funding – up to £25,000 per application lasting for up to a year – could help refurbish shops or support businesses who cannot pay for a full lease or would be unable to take on a town centre location.

There are plans to support three to six shops in the target areas, which were chosen on the basis they are deemed “priority town centres” and have a high rate of vacant premises.

Alan Lunt, director of regeneration and environment at Brent Council, said: “Our businesses and high streets have taken a big hit from the pandemic and now is the time to look for opportunities to turn that around and build back a better Brent for businesses and residents.

“Through activation of empty shops, we hope to stimulate long-term demand for space in the area and support the economic recovery of our neighbourhoods.”

Applications are open until April 18, with refurbishment on the successful shops set to take place in May to July and reopening dates anticipated in August.

Landlords and businesses can visit www.brent.gov.uk/your-community/regeneration/current-projects/meanwhile-pilot-scheme/ for further information and details on how to apply.