New support is on offer for up and coming businesses helping to drive Middlesbrough’s regeneration.
Financial incentives will be available to help enterprises expand and create a more diverse retail and leisure offer in the town centre.
The support is aimed at businesses moving into vacant units in specific areas of the town centre, including key gateways and areas with high footfall.
The incentives will be available to business start-ups, new businesses to Middlesbrough and existing businesses looking to expand.
A rate discount scheme offers a discount on business rates, payable to businesses moving into a vacant unit, while the empty shop refit scheme offers a grant to make an empty unit habitable and attractive.
The rate discount scheme will apply to vacant premises in certain pre-defined areas, where businesses will be offered a discount of up to 50% on rates payable for 12 months.
The empty shop refit scheme will give businesses which move into an empty town centre unit in one of the eligible areas the opportunity to apply for up to a maximum of £5,000 for assistance with the purchase of fixtures and fittings, and security, signage and refurbishment costs.
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Middlesbrough has a history of successful initiatives to address the issues of town centre vacancies and where possible bring them back into use.
“Previous schemes have included the use of shutter graphics and window vinyls and the hugely popular Baker and Bedford Street regeneration has demonstrated the great appetite for low-cost space to accommodate independent businesses.
“Middlesbrough is a great place to do business – with a 30,000-plus student population, upwards of £500m of investment in housing, education and leisure and great transport links, now is a great time to be running a business in Middlesbrough.
“These initiatives are further evidence of Middlesbrough Council’s ongoing commitment to provide vital support to new and expanding businesses, and reward them for the confidence they show in the town.
“They’re the lifeblood of the town centre, and their success is key to Middlesbrough’s ongoing development as a regional focal point for shopping, business and leisure.”
• Support is available until March 31, 2016. For full details of the schemes available, along with eligibility criteria and how to apply, call Project Support Officer Lisa Williams on 01642 729225.