West Sussex Retail Training and Support Programme 2021/22

West Sussex: Supporting retailers to develop, learn and grow their businesses

The West Sussex Retail Training and Support Programme includes support measures for independent retail and high street businesses in Horsham District and across West Sussex.

The programme consists of:

Virtual Learning Hub Training Programme

Horsham District Council has partnered with West Sussex County Council and all the West Sussex local authorities to deliver an exciting new virtual learning hub training programme across the County.

The programme is being delivered by industry experts through an online portal developed by Digital Islands - The West Sussex Retail Hub.

Independent retail and high street businesses across West Sussex will be able to access:

  • 10 pre-recorded learning modules
  • Downloads and useful resources
  • Live Q&A events

Participants will be able to pick and choose the modules that will provide them with the most value and are free to use at any time of the day. Topics include:

  • Measuring sales, tracking profitability
  • Key steps for creating a marketing plan
  • The importance of business planning
  • Employing staff: An introduction to HR for small businesses
  • Using social media for business outcomes
  • Card payments and electronic point of sale
  • Understanding today’s customer
  • Creating an exceptional customer experience
  • Developing a quality customer experience for the modern independent retailer
  • Developing new business models that work effectively and efficiently

Access the hub

The West Sussex Retail Hub has now launched. Register to take part on the West Sussex Retail Hub website.

Shop Improvement Grants

31 July 2021: Applications for the Shop Improvement Grants are now open and will close once all funding is committed.

Shop Improvement Grants are a small injection of funding up to the value of £4,000 aimed at independent businesses based in the Horsham District, with a physical shop presence within Horsham District. The grant can be used to go towards the key improvements that businesses need to make to their premises and/or in-store operations.

You will need to match fund the grant funding by making a small contribution of 25% of the total project cost. Applicants must have engaged with the training sessions, which are being delivered under the Virtual Learning Hub Training Programme.

To apply for a grant, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Registered with Companies House or HMRC
  • Must have a physical shop presence within Horsham District
  • Not be part of any regional, national or international chain or franchise
  • Have 25% match funding in place
  • Must have engaged in the Virtual Learning Hub Training Programme (evidence required)

Eligible project expenditure includes: building works, permanent display equipment or lighting or decoration, but does not include salaries, overheads, rent or stock.

Where applicable, successful applicants must have checked that they have all required planning permissions and consents in place for their project before any grant funding will be paid. You can access general planning advice through our Duty Officer Advice Service.

Apply for a Shop Improvement Grant

Applying is easy. All you will need to do is fill in our online application form and include the following:

  • Details of the project you are applying for and how it will help establish or future-proof your business
  • The timescale of the project you are intending to use the funding for
  • A breakdown of how you will use the grant, plus your own financial contributions. Use our Shop Improvement Grant project expenditure sheet to do this and upload to the application form
  • Certificates from the Virtual Learning Hub Training if you have already completed training at the time of application. Those who have not yet the completed training, will be asked to provide evidence that they have done so before any grant funding is paid.

Apply online now

Grant money release dates

The Shop Improvement Grant Programme is now open to applications and will close once all the funding is committed. You will be notified of a decision within 4 weeks of submitting your application. Apply now.

If you have any queries, please contact our Economic Development Team at BusinessDevelopment@horsham.gov.uk

Bespoke retail training, mentoring and support

This element of the programme is currently in development. Further details will be added to this page, as they become available.