Vacant to Vibrant - Belfast City Council Grant Scheme

McKibbin Commercial in Belfast

18th January 2023

Vacant to Vibrant - Belfast City Council Grant Scheme

Belfast City Council opened a two-year pilot capital grant scheme in July 2022 to incentivise both property owners and potential occupiers to bring vacant Belfast city centre spaces back into use and support the city centre’s revitalisation. 

Through the scheme, Council has allocated £1m to support start-ups, independent retailers, social enterprises and cultural and voluntary organisations to diversify the city centre and transform vacant spaces, which will contribute to higher quality streetscapes, sustain jobs and help create new employment opportunities. 

Grants from £2,500 to £25,000 are available to support the occupation of vacant city centre premises within the city centre boundary, depending on lease length and size of premises. Successful applicants will be supported through one-to-one mentoring and workshops to help with business growth and sustainability. 

Property owners, businesses, social enterprises and cultural and voluntary organisations wishing to renovate or repurpose a vacant space can apply. Applicants will need to:

Confirm that the property is located within the city centre and has been vacant for at least 12 months prior to application submission.Demonstrating commitment to contribute a minimum of 10 per cent match funding to the grant if successful.Deliver the scheme within nine months of receiving the Letter of Offer.Produce a two-year business and financial plan (template is provided) which will demonstrate quality assurance and viability.Provide quotes for the capital works and purchases in line with Council's procurement thresholds.

Applications will be awarded funding on a first come first served basis, until funding has been exhausted.  

For those wishing to find out more about the scheme, Belfast City Council can provide support by email, phone or video call, or, where appropriate, in a face-to-face meeting.

Please email to request an application pack and a member of our team will assist you.