A Grant to assist businesses to take on a vacant town centre property in Fife by providing funding for the physical improvement of the exterior and/or interior of the chosen property.
Grants of up to a maximum of £5,000 or 75% of eligible costs are available - whichever is the lesser.
Business Gateway Fife provides the Fife Town Centre Business Support Fund through its Town Centre Development Unit. The Fund aims to revitalise Fife by stimulating business on the High Street.
The Fund provides the following three funding packages:
- Town Centre Business Support Fund - Vacant Properties Improvement Grant (subject of this report).
- Town Centre Business Support Fund - Building Improvement Grant.
- Town Centre Business Support Fund - Town Centre Expert Help.
The aim of the Town Centre Business Support Fund - Vacant Properties Improvement Grant is to assist businesses to take on a vacant town centre property by providing funding for the physical improvement of the exterior and/or interior of the chosen property.
Applicants should contact the provider direct to discuss any exclusions that may apply.
Grants are available to new or existing business looking to take on a vacant town centre property in Fife that has been vacant for at least six months.
At least a 12 month lease must be in place or if the unit is owned, evidence of title deeds will be required.
The terms of the grant are as follows:
- Any agreed works to be supported via the grant will not start before the offer of grant has been formally accepted by the applicant.
- The financial assistance will be paid retrospectively on production of copy invoices detailing eligible expenditure.
- If the actual eligible costs incurred reduce so will grant, however if the proposed works incur additional costs not detailed in the application, the grant offer will remain same as stated in the offer letter.
- VAT will not form part of any eligible expenditure.
- The offer of grant by Business Gateway and formal acceptance letter from the applicant will form the basis of the agreement between Business Gateway/Fife Council and the applicant.
- Any offer of grant is open for acceptance for a period of 30 days from the date it is made and the full amount of grant must be drawn down within three months of grant offer unless otherwise agreed in writing by Business Gateway.
- All necessary consents (including planning permission or advertisement consent and building warrant) must be obtained by the Applicant before commencement of the agreed works and evidence of necessary consents must be provided before any grant offer will be paid out.
- The applicant must be up to date with their non-domestic rate payments or have an agreed payment plan in place. If an applicant property is based within a Business Improvement District, then the BID levy payments must be up to date or an agreement payment plan in place.
- It is the responsibility of the Applicant to ensure that work is completed to his/her satisfaction. Business Gateway and Fife Council will not be liable for any design or construction faults.
- The Works should be maintained in a good state of repair, so as not to detract from the general appearance of the area, for a period reasonable to the nature and value of the work undertaken.
- Press releases including photographs may be used by Business Gateway and Fife Council to publicise the improvement works, without the specific agreement of the applicant.
- Any publicity or press release by the applicant must name Business Gateway/Fife Council as a co-funder of the works.
- If the Applicant is in breach of any of the terms of the grant then, at the option of Business Gateway/Fife Council, the grant will not be paid and any grant already paid must be repaid by the Applicant in full to Business Gateway/Fife Council.
- At the request of Fife Council, the Applicant must take part in research to enable evaluation of the scheme to be carried out.
For all grants the following criteria must be met:
- The business must have turnover less than £1 million.
- They must not occupy more than two units under the same business brand.
- No works started before any grant offer is made and accepted.
Applicants should provide the remainder of project costs from alternative sources.
Assistance is available for the physical improvement of the exterior and/or interior of the chosen property.
Applicants should contact the provider direct to discuss any deadlines that may apply.
Link to guidelines:
If applicants are awarded a grant, they will be asked to provide the following information when they make a grant claim:
- Evidence of title or a copy of formal lease agreement with at least 12 months to run.
- Evidence of all necessary consents including, where appropriate, planning permission or advertising consent and building warrant.
- Copies of suppliers’ invoices for the work carried out.
- Proof of payment of suppliers’ invoices: copies of bank or credit card statements showing that payments have been made.
- If the property is leased, written permission from the property owner for the works being carried out.
- An invoice (without VAT) to Business Gateway Fife for the amount of grant being claimed.
- Details of the bank account into which the grant will be paid.
The Application Form is available to download from the website.