TIME is running out for people in a market town to apply for grants for buildings improvements.

There are just three months left to access funds for Wolsingham's Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme, which aims to restore traditional features in the Weardale community.

Durham County Council is urging owners who want to carry out property improvements to apply for grant aid as soon as possible as all bids must be submitted and approved by March 31.

Cash is available for structural repairs such as stonework and roofing, reinstatement of traditional features and shop fronts.

Chris Tunstall, director of environment and technical services, said: "We have already grant aided nine commercial properties so far and the work has made quite an impact on the image of the conservation area and Market Place.

"We've also been working with other property owners to identify further improvements and we'd urge them to apply before time runs out. We'd like other residential properties in the Market Place and part of Front Street to consider applying for the grant."

To apply, or for information, call the county council on (0191) 3834104 or Wear Valley Council's planning department on (01388) 765555.