Two Camborne business owners have won grants to improve their premises thanks to the Project A-Void scheme funded by the Government’s Town Deal initiative and delivered by BID Camborne.

Trevada Music has been based in Camborne since 1984 and owner Leonard Adams wanted to replace the front windows and doors of his Chapel Street shop for insulation and security reasons. One of the first people to apply for a grant, he is over the moon to have been awarded £4k towards the cost of the repair work.

“I’m really pleased, it’s a very big help,” he said. “With everything that has been going on with the pandemic, the timing couldn’t be better and will make a big difference to the shop’s appearance once we’re allowed to re-open.”

Like most small retail businesses, Trevada Music has been hit hard by this year’s lockdowns.

“It has been grim,” said Adams. “We were all furloughed in March and obviously couldn’t attend any of the shows nationally that normally give us a countrywide presence. There has understandably been a lot of talk about the impact of the virus on the music industry but what people don’t often think about is the supply chain that backs it up. Musicians who find themselves jobless aren’t buying new instruments and that, in turn, impacts on businesses like ours.

“Thankfully, though, things did pick up in the summer and sales of guitars and acoustic pianos were particularly good. Customers can buy online but there is something special – and of course social – about going into a shop.

“Camborne has always been known for its wonderful range of specialist retailers and we’re going to need the support of our local and wider Cornish community even more in the months and years ahead.”

Satnam Singh and his family have owned properties in Camborne since the 1980s. Like Adams, he was one of the first Project A-Void applicants and is similarly delighted after being awarded £5k towards the cost of transforming vacant premises in Trelowarren Street into a café.

“It’s the site of the former Nationwide Building Society and we’re changing the frontage,” he said. “The work is underway and once it’s complete we’ll be marketing the property to prospective tenants.

“I believe Camborne is one of those places that will survive the current crisis because of the loyalty and support of its local community. It doesn’t depend on tourists and has some unique businesses that have a well-deserved reputation for excellent customer service.

“I’m very proud of our long association with the town and wish it well with the Town Deal bid.”

Camborne is one of four towns in Cornwall bidding for £25 million in Town Deal funding. £750k Accelerator Funding has just been awarded and Project A-Void, which aims to transform vacant and run-down commercial properties into modern, thriving businesses, represents a significant proportion of that.

“This is a real opportunity for Camborne’s shopping centre to be improved and we encourage businesses to apply for the renovation and refurbishment grants on offer,” said BID manager and Camborne Town Deal chair Anna Pascoe. “Awards are being made on a first-come-first-served basis so I would urge anyone interested to complete the application form now.”