Small businesses could get their hands on up to £10,000 of council cash, if they can fill vacant ground-floor shop space in Altrincham, Sale, Stretford or Urmston.

Trafford Council is offering the funds to small retailers, bars, restaurants or other shops as part of a new loans scheme which aims to breathe new life into the borough’s town centres.

Small businesses could also get up to £5,000 to promote and market themselves through the initiative, which has already supported 42 businesses, attracted £1.7 million of private sector investment and created 189 jobs across Trafford.

The newly-opened Stretford Food Hall, Longford Tap and HEAD bar have all received funding from Trafford Council through the programme so far.

Longford Tap opened in mid-September on King Street and belongs to brothers, Paul and David Burgess.

David Burgess said: “The idea and ethos behind The Longford Tap, to open a bar serving craft ale from local producers, has been a dream of mine and Paul’s for a while now.  The Trafford Town Centre Loan Scheme has been instrumental in enabling us to turn our dream in to a reality, joining a growing, successful food and drink hub in Stretford Mall.”

Stretford Food Hall opened in July and is an amalgamation of convenience store, food court and bar; selling quirky products alongside every-day groceries, hosting pop-up street food vendors and running vibrant events.

Owner Mital Morar, who also owns Ancoats General Store, said: “My approach to Ancoats General Store is to bring a unique and exciting product mix alongside the general, everyday goods that people need, and create a social space for the community through events and a unique food offering.

“I saw Stretford as an ideal place to expand that approach, and the Town Centres Loan Scheme has been an essential part of our initial success here.”

HEAD bar on Chester Road, owned by Stretford resident James Gibson, opened last December. It offers locally sourced beers and snacks in the space that used to be the HSBC bank.

Mr Gibson said: “Stretford has a great community of a people from all different backgrounds so I wanted to give them somewhere that offered this that was on their doorstep.

“Somewhere that was warm and welcoming to everyone. It took a long time for Head to open and I wouldn’t have been able to do so if it wasn’t for the council’s loan scheme. It’s now great to be part of what looks like will be a rapidly growing food and drink scene.”

Coun James Wright, Trafford Council’s cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: “As a local authority we are committed to supporting businesses within our town centres, ensuring that they have every opportunity to thrive in Trafford.

“We are currently investing heavily in improving the look, feel and flow of Stretford town centre; investing millions of pounds into improvements, bringing forward major developments and we have recently acquired Stretford Mall to act as a catalyst for further investment and regeneration of the town.

“The council has a dedicated town centres team which acts as the first point of contact to assist businesses in, or looking to locate to, the area and a business growth advisor is on hand to provide specialist one-on-one support for businesses.”

For more information about the town centres loan scheme and how to apply please visit or call the town centres team on 0161 912 4176.