The first grant from the Elmbridge Digital High Street Fund (EDHSF) has been awarded to The Art Agency of Esher. The high street art gallery, which has also received funding for shop front improvements from the Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund, benefited from £1,000 to put towards a new e-commerce website.
The EDHSF offers up to 90% of project costs – up to a maximum of £2,000 – towards the creation or development of an e-commerce website for independent high street retailers. An e-commerce website is an online platform to sell goods and services.
The scheme was introduced by Elmbridge Borough Council to enable high street retailers to take advantage of online growth opportunities and compete with larger companies which can afford a greater digital presence.
The Art Agency’s Emma Riley said: “We were looking into building a new e-commerce website so the timing could not have been better. Selling on the high street is becoming increasingly difficult so we must evolve and find new channels through which to sell our artists’ work.”
Councillor Christine Elmer, Portfolio Holder for Community and Corporate Development, said: “We recognise that a major challenge for our high streets is adapting to the growth of online retail. This scheme provides a fantastic opportunity for independent retailers to establish a more competitive digital presence. I hope that our excellent independent high street businesses take this chance to improve their e-commerce offer.”
To apply businesses must submit an application form and three quotes. Businesses can direct enquiries to Organisational Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01372 474 216. The application form and guidance notes are available on the Digital High Street Fund page.