Grant approval for access improvements

A GRANT of almost £2,000 has been recommended to help improve disabled access to Hillside shop and post office.

The shop’s owners applied to Angus Council’s Rural Shops and Community Post Office Conversion grant scheme to help meet the £2,483 cost of the scheme.

In his report to Tuesday’s infrastructure services committee, director Eric Lowson recommended the award of £1,993.20, 80 per cent of the submitted estimate, subject to agreement by the authority’s chief quantity surveyor.

He said: “This discretionary scheme has assisted both existing shop keeper and new post masters to carry out improvements and/or adopt good business practices, thus increasing the viability of their businesses. There is at preset a budget of £6,000 for each financial year.

“The owners are proposing to amend the layout of the premises to increase space for merchandise and to improve access for the disabled, particularly wheelchair users.

“The works comprise alterations to the existing office, including repositioning the fire door and security lock. New positioned counters to be installed to both shop and post office.”

Mr Lowson said that Post Office Counters is funding the necessary electrical work association with the repositioned computer and electronic equipment and noted that the applicant meets the scheme’s eligibility criteria.

He added: “It is the only general store within the village of Hillside and is open for 12 months of the year. As the post office is less than three miles from the nearest provision the maximum grant is £2,500 or 90 per cent of the approved works, whichever is the lower.

“The applicant has submitted two competitive estimates for the improvements which have been forwarded to the chief quantity surveyor for confirmation that the lowest quotation is fair and reasonable.

“The owners of the Hillside village shop and post office are endeavouring to improve the access, particularly for the disabled, and to maximise the attractiveness of the facilities and range of goods to protect and secure the shop to service both the local community and the wider rural area.”