Vacant Commercial Units Fund
Trowbridge high street has faced many challenges recently with changing shopping habits and COVID-19. The £16,347,056 investment from central government's Future High Streets Fund will help transform Trowbridge town centre into a vibrant place to live, work and shop.
As part of this investment, we are pleased to launch the Vacant Commercial Units Fund. This is a discretionary grants scheme offering funding to businesses and organisations to bring vacant commercial units back into use. We will support the refurbishment of vacant commercial units to encourage independent businesses and start-ups and encourage the conversion of upper floors of commercial premises, creating additional residential accommodation.
The scheme aims to:
- Achieve a more compact and vibrant high street
- Encourage the diversification and revitalisation of the Trowbridge town centre through direct investment to deliver new homes, workspace and space for emerging and independent businesses on the high street
£1.2 million has been allocated to this grant scheme, with small and large grants available in two ranges:
- Small grant awards between £2,500 and £24,999
- Large grant awards from £25,000 and £100,000
Grants over £100,000 will be considered in exceptional circumstances where you can demonstrate the activity will be transformative and act as a catalyst to economic growth in Trowbridge.
Grant applications must be for improvements to properties located in Trowbridge town centre and you must contribute at least 25% of the total costs of the investment.
We hope the scheme will attract applications from commercial property owners, business owners, directors and landlords.
We would encourage you to first read the Trowbridge VCUF guidance notes (PDF) [1011KB] (opens new window) for applicants before submitting your application. It provides a useful checklist to ensure you provide all the information necessary to support your application.
Please download the application form and the investment budget spreadsheet and save them on your computer before you complete these documents.
- Trowbridge VCUF application form (PDF) [178KB] (opens new window)
- Trowbridge VCUF investment budget (Excel doc) [394KB] (opens new window)
Email a copy of your application to FHSF@wiltshire.gov.uk once complete.
If you would like support to help you understand the guidance notes or feel you are not able to complete the application form on your own, email the Future High Streets Fund team on FHSF@wiltshire.gov.uk.
On 27 September 2022 the Future High Streets Fund team hosted a webinar on the Vacant Commercial Units Fund grant scheme in Trowbridge followed by a question and answer session. A recording of this webinar can be accessed below.
Webinar 27 September 2022 with subtitles https://youtu.be/u6d026rPW48
The closing date for applications for the Vacant Commercial Units Fund is Friday 24 November 2023. However, the scheme will close sooner if the funds set at £1.2 million are committed to projects beforehand.
Frequently asked questions
You can contact the Future High Streets Fund team by email: FHSF@wiltshire.gov.uk
If you find it easier to speak to a member of the team, please tell us in your email and include your telephone number.
Funding can be used to support for instance:
- The extension, improvement, or modification of commercial buildings
- Building works including replacing shop fronts, new roofs, windows, doors, rendering, stone/brick cleaning, electrical works, floors and ceilings etc
- Equipment and machinery and installations
- Fixtures and fittings and electrical appliances, and other similar one-off items to help occupy the currently vacant unit
Funding for the small grant scheme is likely to be awarded quicker than the large grant scheme purely because of the levels of funding involved. We want to support businesses as quickly as possible so the sooner you apply, the sooner your application can be assessed and if successful the grant awarded. We certainly anticipate making some payments before Christmas.
Not at the moment. However, depending on how the other FHSF projects in Trowbridge progress it may be possible to reallocate funds between projects, subject to agreement by central government.
Yes, all the information including the guidance for applicants, application form and the investment budget spreadsheet can be made available in other languages including BSL and formats such as large print and audio.
Contact us by phone on 0300 456 0100 or by email on email@example.com.
A key aim for the council is to support its market towns, to enhance their vitality and the long-term sustainability of town centres. This grant programme aims to encourage the longer-term occupation of vacant retail premises, helping boost footfall, stimulate entrepreneurship, create new jobs and enhance the sustainability of businesses in Trowbridge.
The FHSF provides a great opportunity to pilot a scheme to bring vacant retail premises back into use and if successful, the council will look to see how similar schemes can be rolled out in other market towns when funding becomes available.