Shopfronts in Aberystwyth are the subject of a major renovation programme intended to improve the town's visual appearance. The works, which are becoming increasingly visible around the town, are being funded by a combination of grants and interest-free loans put together by the Ceredigion Council and funded by the Welsh Government as part of Aberystwyth’s status as a Regeneration Area. So far 13 buildings have been renovated, some incorporating more than one shop, with work on another seven in progress and many more expected.
Aberystwyth has always had some wonderful vernacular architecture that has often gone unnoticed and been allowed to decay. The principle of the scheme is that encouraging enough interested shop-owners to renovate their properties improves the whole image of Aberystwyth, by making best use of the town’s innate characteristics, which in turn attracts people into the town and boosts the economy.
Typically a scheme for a particular building might include painting that picks out architectural features, repair work, new windows, decluttering by getting rid of redundant hanging wires and aerials, bilingual signage and, where necessary, conversion back to a traditional-style shop-front.
Northgate Street, identified as a neglected area and an important entranceway into the town, is to be particularly targetted and most properties in the street will be improved in the next few months.
The work is taking place with grant and loan funding from a combination of Town Improvement and Community Enhancement Grants funded by the Welsh Government’s Housing Renewal Area fund. The work builds on a smaller scheme begun in the town in 2008. Cardigan and Tregaron have also seen similar successful schemes in the past decade.