Town Centre property revamp scheme now open in Mid and East Antrim

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

THE Town Centre Property Repurposing Pilot Grant Scheme launched by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in collaboration with the Department for Communities (DfC) is now open.

Its focus is on provision of support across the three main town centres within the Borough: Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne.

The new funding assists capital development and repurposing works on vacant commercial properties within the town centres.

Applications for the grant scheme open from 12 noon today, Friday, April 30, before closing on Wednesday, June 30, at 4pm.

In order to apply, total costs must be in excess of £10,000, with applicants contributing at least 50% match funding towards the project.

Whilst there is no maximum total project cost, the scheme will provide funding up to a maximum of £30,000 per project.

The funding is through the DfC Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme, in addition to investment agreed through the Council’s Integrated Property Solutions Programme.

The Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme was introduced to support towns and city centres in their recovery, with funding provided by DfC, the Department for Infrastructure and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

In total, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has received £1.41m through the programme. The funding is supporting a number of borough-wide initiatives, including three tranches of grant funding totalling £322,045 to 212 independent traders across Mid and East Antrim, enabling them to implement measures to make their businesses more ‘Covid-secure’.

Launching the scheme, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Councillor Peter Johnston, said:

“I am delighted to announce that the Town Centre Property Repurposing Pilot Grant Scheme will support repurposing of vacant units for a range of uses, enabling the regeneration of our town centres as we continue our journey towards societal and economic recovery. Council’s vision is that by focusing on regeneration initiatives such as this, we will ultimately help boost footfall in our town centres.

“I would urge the owners or leaseholders of vacant properties within town centre boundaries to check their eligibility for this scheme.”

The funding will support the repurposing of vacant properties for future uses including retail, hospitality, health and fitness, residential accommodation and professional services.

Welcoming the news, Chair of Borough Growth, Mid and East Antrim Cllr Gaston, said the funding was essential to support town centres.

“This funding provides a much-needed means of support in these challenging times to help those who wish to invest in developing vacant properties within our towns. It is Council’s hope that this will act as a catalyst for future development, whilst continuing to create vibrant town centres for those who live, work and visit the borough.”

For further information on the scheme, contact Connor O’Dornan, Strategic Projects Officer, via: invest@midandeastantrim.gov.uk. Guidance notes and application forms are available via the online grant portal: https://mea.eformz.info

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