A CHARITY'S plan to convert an Oswestry shop front from its current glass appearance has been given financial backing by councillors in the town

Designs in Mind CIC, currently in Cross Street, operates out of two floors above the former Scotty's Cafe and is looking to install a traditional timber shop front.

The social enterprise works with local residents creating art and design work to support mental health and has planning permission to turn the former cafe into more studio space.

In a report published to Oswestry Town Council for its amenities committee meeting on Wednesday, Designs in Mind said its planning application was made after prolonged conversations with Shropshire Council and a project officer from the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ).

It said: "Designs in Mind is a successful mental health CIC and have worked out of Cross Street for some years.

"They have recently repurposed the ground floor through a HSHAZ grant from a cafe to a space that will provide a springboard for members to deliver art and design workshops to the public and sell the products they make.

"The final element is the shop front."

The report added that a delay in finalising plans for the shopfront has led to another funding stream to be closed off, leading to a request of £9,397.50 of funding from the town council, which was backed by HSHAZ.

At the meeting on Wednesday, Councillor Mike Isherwood motioned that the full amount requested be paid, taking the time to praise Designs in Mind's work.

He said: "We should make this grant for the full amount – they are a charitable organisation who are working with people on mental health and supporting Oswestry residents.

"We should go the full way and give them the grant."

Cllr Paul Milner agreed.

He said: "I would like to second that – not only do they support mental health but they teach people a trade and I think they will be used a lot more in the future."

Former mayor Cllr Mark Jones added: "Scotty’s Café is currently looking awful with that lovely building above it and I think we should be using it."

The motion was passed unanimously.

In addition, town clerk Arren Roberts told councillors that members of Carmarthen Town Council are visiting the town to study the shop front scheme.