SHOPKEEPERS in Thame are being encouraged to apply for funding to brighten up their shop fronts.

An improvement scheme has been launched for the town’s shops, hairdressers, restaurants, pubs and takeaways.

The scheme is being administered by 21st Century Thame, a partnership of representatives from local councils, community groups and businesses.

It is being funded by South Oxfordshire District Council and the South East England Development Agency’s Rural Towns Programme.

Cat Young, from 21st Century Thame, said: “We’re delighted that SODC has chosen to fund a second round of shop front improvements.

“The work done to date has helped to make the town more welcoming to visitors and gives them a reason to come back again and again – all of which positively impacts on the vibrancy and vitality of the town centre.”

Last year, 10 businesses in Thame took advantage of the scheme.

These included Mary Brooks, Austins and Eclipse Hair Design.

A maximum of £2,000 per shop front is available and each project must match the funding by 50 per cent.

Judith Nimmo-Smith, cabinet member for economic development at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “High-quality shop fronts make a town feel more welcoming to local residents and visitors.”

Application forms are available online from or by emailing Helena Fickling at