Shopkeepers could soon be able to apply for grants of up to £20,000 to restore their town centre buildings to their former glory.
Shops along Sheep Street, Silver Street, Market Street, Cambridge Street and parts of High Street in Wellingborough could be eligible for grants which would see period features uncovered, repaired and restored.
Wellingborough Council has launched the first step in a five-year project to restore and protect the town’s heritage.
It is part of the council’s Townscape Heritage Initiative, which is supported by £1.4m of Heritage Lottery funding.
Cllr Tim Allebone, chairman of the council’s development committee, said: “We have some really beautiful buildings in our town centre, with a lot of history and character.
“Unfortunately over the years quite a bit of this character has been covered up or fallen into disrepair, and a number of shop fronts no longer match the buildings that they belong to. Many of the traditional market town features do still exist, but work needs to be done to discover these hidden treasures and bring them back to their former glory.”
Neil Waite, owner of Neil’s Toy Chest in High Street, said: “It’s definitely something we want to take advantage of. I think it will make the town centre look a lot better and I am very pleased the council is trying to do something about it. I would like to see the town centre looking something like Olney.”