Local Food Economy

Vacant Commercial Property Grant

By Ramona Andrews

Bristol City Council is currently offering grants of up to £10,000 to organisations taking on new commercial properties. Funding is available to help you to start trading from a new city centre or local high street property.

Grants of £2,500 to £10,000 are on offer to help you open new premises. Bristol City Council simplified the application and award process in October 2022, so if you previously read the guidance notes or application form before this date, please ensure that you read the current versions on the Bristol City Council website.

Lots of organisations are eligible to apply, but BCC is particularly interested in supporting you if you:

  • employ or serve people from under-represented groups
  • are an accredited Living Wage Employer
  • are improving a building’s disabled access and facilities
  • a have a clear commitment to sustainability.

The funding is open to businesses, charities, CICs, sole traders and arts and culture groups for both long-term and temporary or meanwhile use. Your organisation will employ fewer than 50 people, have a turnover of £10.2 million or less, and a balance sheet showing £5.1 million or less. You’ll be able to match the funding you’re asking for by 20%. For example, if you ask for grant funding of £10,000, you’ll need to prove that you’re spending at least £2,000 of money you have access to from other sources.

You’ll either be looking to rent or lease a commercial property in Bristol’s city centre or on any of the city’s 46 local high streets, or you’ve signed a lease or rental agreement for a commercial property within one of these areas in the last 12 weeks, and you have not yet started trading from this property.

Funding can be used for structural works to a property or equipment to be used in the property (capital expenditure).

Applications are open until 12 midday on Friday 31 March 2023. Go to the Bristol City Council website for more information and to read more about some of the successful applicants.

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