Town Centre property revamp scheme reopens

Posted By:
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

21st Oct 2021

Don’t miss out on a second chance to secure funding to assist capital development and repurposing works on vacant town centre commercial properties.

Applications to the Town Centre Property Repurposing Pilot Grant Scheme, managed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in collaboration with the Department for Communities (DfC), has re-opened for a second call with a deadline of Friday 10 December 2021 at 4pm.

There has already been significant interest in the grant, which focuses on supporting businesses across the three main town centres of Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne. A number of projects have successfully progressed through the first call and secured funding of up to £30,000 per project.

The funding is through the DfC Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme, in addition to co-investment from Council.

In order to apply, total costs must be in excess of £10,000, with applicants contributing at least 50% match funding towards the project. Whilst there is no maximum total project cost, the scheme will provide funding up to a maximum of £30,000 per project.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Councillor William McCaughey encouraged business and property owners to avail of this funding opportunity and to make an application before the closing date.  “The Town Centre Property Scheme saw a successful first tranche and as a result, is re-opening for a second call so we can continue to support the repurposing of vacant units and enable the regeneration of our town centres the Mayor said.  He continued: “Council’s vision is that by focusing on regeneration initiatives such as this, we will ultimately help boost footfall in our town centres.  I would urge the owners or leaseholders of vacant properties within town centre boundaries to check their eligibility for this scheme and to apply before the closing date of 10 December 2021.”

The funding will support the repurposing of vacant properties for future uses including retail, hospitality, health and fitness, residential accommodation and professional services.

Successful projects in the first tranche of funding included Lynn and Brewster (Church Street, Ballymena – £30,000) and Scrabo Properties Limited (Market Place, Carrickfergus – £30,000).

Charles Lynn, Director of Lynn and Brewster, explained how they plan to use the grant.  “The Town Centre Property grant will help regenerate our property on Church Street, ultimately allowing us to relocate the firm into the main retail area of Ballymena’s town centre. We are confident this investment will help drive further businesses to the area, helping increase footfall in the town.”

Encouraging others to apply, Mike McNeill, Director of Scrabo Properties, outlined how the grant would be used to convert the vacant first floor of a building in Carrickfergus.  “Our proposed project will create apartments at 3D Market Place in the centre of town, allowing us to complete the wider investment of the Townscape Heritage Initiative-funded site. I would strongly encourage anyone interested to apply and avail of the scheme.”

The funding is open to new applicants and to those applicants who were unsuccessful in the first round of funding to reapply with a new funding application.

For further information on the scheme, contact Connor O’Dornan, Strategic Projects Officer, via: Guidance notes and application forms are available via the online grant portal: