Business Incentive Scheme to Encourage the Use of Vacant Commercial Premises
Westmeath County Council recognises the impact of the current recession on the business community and society at large. People are struggling to make ends meet and many business are struggling to remain open. Unfortunately, many business have also closed and there are vacant premises throughout the county. These vacant premises can be visually detrimental in an area and are an untapped resource in terms of economic enterprise and activity.
The Council is keen to see these vacant premises in use for a number of reasons including:
- To provide employment opportunities
- To generate economic activity
- To improve the appearance of our towns and villages
- To improve the viability and vitality of our towns, villages and rural areas
- To generate rates income to fund local services
- To see unused assets in productive use
For these reasons, the Council has established a three year grant scheme to incentivise the reuse of vacant premises.
Grants may be paid by Westmeath County Council to Qualifying Applicants in respect of Qualifying property as follows:
- Year 1: Grant payable equivalent to 50% of rate demand for subject year
- Year 2: Grant payable equivalent to 40% of rate demand for subject year
- Year 3: Grant payable equivalent to 30% of rate demand for subject year
- Year 4: No Grant Payable
The Grant will be paid within 4 weeks of the payment of the annual commercial rate demand for that year for the property in question, or more frequently if agreed between the Council and the ratepayer. The grant payable will not exceed 50% of the rates paid.
Qualifying Conditions for 2018 Scheme
- The property must have been continuously vacant for a minimum of six months immediately prior to 1st January 2017.
- The property must be rated.
- The property must be owned by the applicant or subject to a minimum 12 month lease.
- The property must have the appropriate permissions and consents for the proposed use.
- The property and applicant must have all rates, contributions and local authority charges paid in full at the time of the application.
- The applicant must have current Tax Clearance Status.
This scheme will be reviewed annually.
Download the 2018 BIS Application Form
Download the 2017 BIS application form
Please note this scheme will not be available for new applications in 2019. The last year for new applications to the scheme is 2018 and no applications received after 31st December 2018 will be considered.