Businesses in the Old Market Square and the Lace Market have a chance to get hold of some cash to restore their shop fronts to their historic former glory.

Nottingham City Council has accepted £551,500 from Historic England to conserve buildings in both the Lace Market and Old Market Square. A further £79,750 has been allocated by the City Council, while £297,250 will be provided by private investment.

Nearly £1 million is being spent on repairing and replacing 30 shop fronts in both areas. Some of the money will also go towards repairing listed buildings and 20 historic buildings.

Businesses with modern shop fronts in historic buildings based in the Old Market Square and Lace Market can now apply for grants of up to 75% of cost to restore their shop front. For example: if the shop front costs £20,000 to restore, the business would only contribute £5,000.

The funding is part of a five year project, costing £2.7million aimed at saving and transforming historic and neglected buildings in Old Market Square, the Lace Market, and Sneinton Market.

Cllr Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage, said: “We’re really proud that Nottingham was chosen as one of the first ‘Heritage Action Zones’ by Historic England earlier this year, which aims to help transform historic places and promote growth through heritage-led regeneration. Our historic buildings and structures add to the city’s unique character and creates a sense of place specific only to Nottingham.

“The funding award for repairs to buildings in Old Market Square and Lace Market, which forms part of the Historic England five-year initiative, will transform the historic heart of the city for citizens and visitors, helping to boost tourism and create jobs.”

The scheme is being run by Historic England with Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Creative Quarter, Nottingham Heritage Panel and Nottingham Civic society and Historic England will provide an estimated £1.5 million for the project over the next five years, with the rest coming from public and private funds.

Clive Fletcher, Historic England’s principal adviser for historic places in the East Midlands, said: “We are delighted that Nottingham City Council has accepted our Heritage Action Zone grant to breathe new life into the city centre’s at risk Conservation Areas.

“Sneinton Market, Old Market Square and the Lace Market will be the target of heritage-led regeneration and by working in partnership we aim to restore the city’s historic character, boost tourism and create jobs.”

The grant scheme is now open to businesses to make Expressions of Interest contact Emma Hancock, the Heritage Action Zone Officer – or 0115 8764471. The first round of Expressions of Interest will close at Christmas.