A new $50,000 fund from the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) will enable building owners to upgrade their properties.

The funding will help the District's main streets look great, as part of the "Back On Our Feet" $20 million relief package to help the economy recover from Covid-19.

The extra investment will enable building owners in New Plymouth, Waitara and Inglewood to get a helping hand when they upgrade their properties, helping to encourage more people to shop locally.

New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says the street-smart scheme is another great way NPDC is working to keep the central areas vibrant and lend a helping hand to shops, restaurants and cafes.

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"Many local businesses are hurting and we need to help them weather the Covid-19 economic storm. This extra funding can help transform your business at street level, bring in punters and keep the tills ringing. Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of our community and we want to help them get back on their feet."

Property owner John Shewry says the look of the buildings is a measure of the success of CBDs and is key to attracting people.

"Many of our main street buildings could do with smartening up and this is the time to do it. It's a great opportunity to renew and reinvent what our main streets offer."

Owner of Flora and Co. Indoor Plant Studio Maree Wiki says the façade fund helped pay for a new shop frontage in May, which boosted her business and has given work to local designers and tradespeople.

"We've had a tremendous number of customers coming into our Devon St shop since we gave our business a facelift – it's really landmarked us in the CBD," she says.

■ For more information, visit newplymouthnz.com/PimpMyBuilding or call NPDC on 06 759 6060 for more details.