A new city-wide business grant has been made available by Newport City Council.
The grant is available to businesses across the city, but is targeted towards the city centre which remains a regeneration priority for the council.
Funding available may only be used toward the following eligible purposes:
- Rent of vacant commercial property (the property must have been vacant for a minimum of 3 months)
- Costs relating to the purchase of plant or equipment (including ICT)
- Costs relating to signage or shop front improvement relating to the occupation of property (all work must be in accordance with planning regulations)
Businesses can apply for grant funding towards any eligible elements of the scheme, for example, rent and purchase of equipment for businesses occupying premises in the city centre. However, the maximum grant available remains limited to 50% of the eligible costs up to a maximum total of £6,000 per applicant. This reduces to a maximum of £3,000 for premises located outside the city centre. The minimum grant amount is £250.
Funding for the business grant is limited. Applicants should contact [email protected] or 01633 656656.
Key questions and answers for businesses considering applying for the grant…
Why is rental support only available for vacant properties?
Vacant commercial property has been consistently identified as a key issue affecting the performance of the city centre and commercial areas. Vacant property undermines the ability of businesses to succeed, is detrimental to perceptions of Newport and is linked to anti-social behaviour and crime. The council therefore encourages businesses to locate in properties that have been vacant for some time 3 months or more.
Why is the support greater in the city centre?
The city centre remains a priority for the council in terms of regeneration and economic development. Despite its challenges, it retains the greatest concentration of jobs in the city as a whole. The council recognises that the cost of starting up a business in the city centre is comparatively higher than in area parts of the city and has adjusted the level of support accordingly.
Why must I provide two quotations against the cost of purchase of equipment?
This is in order to demonstrate best value in the use of public funds.
My Landlord wants rent up front, what shall I do?
You should normally be entitled to some consideration from your landlord if you are paying rent in advance (i.e. a reduction in the overall rent due over the period). The council will only pay grant support towards rental upon an incremental basis – for example, if you were to pay your landlord 6 months’ rent up front you would only be able to claim back 50% of the amount due for a single month’s rent at a time (i.e. six monthly payments of grant equal to 50% of the normal rent due for that month). It is not the council’s role to become involved with your rental agreements, though your Business Support contact can advise you where your landlord’s expectations are unrealistic.
What constitutes ‘equipment’?
Examples of items the council will fund include: Computers, printers, tills, counters, refrigerators and other items at the council’s discretion which are keep at the premises only.
Items which will not be considered eligible for funding include vehicles, mobile phones, tools, heating, air-conditioning, wiring, lighting (and other items required for the functioning of the building)