Thame shop front scheme may close early

A funding scheme to help improve shop fronts in Oxfordshire could close prematurely because not enough businesses have taken it up.

The 21st Century Thame initiative has more than £38,000 left in grants to help shopkeepers improve their stores.

South Oxfordshire District Council said seven shops had so far taken advantage of the offer.

A spokesman said unless the remaining money was allocated by the end of June the funding would be lost.

Rural towns

Projects funded by the scheme had been due to continue until the end of 2011.

It provides up to half the cost of improving each shop front, up to a maximum of £2,000.

It is open to tenants, freeholders, leaseholders with at least five years on their lease with commercial shop fronts in Thame, Chinnor and Wheatley.

The scheme is a partnership with Thame Town Council, South Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council.

It is being funded by the district council and the South East England Development Agency's rural towns programme.

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