Empty property grant

The empty property grant is for commercial properties that have been empty for over 6 months. It covers 50% of refurbishment costs up to £10,000. This scheme can be used in conjunction with the No Use Empty scheme Kent's empty property initiative.

Who can apply?

Small businesses (up to 50 employees) will be eligible to apply for this grant if:

  • you are the freeholder or leaseholder (with at least 4.5 years left on the lease) of the commercial property
  • the property is at ground level, over 10 years old and has been empty for more than 6 months
  • you can answer YES to the 6 out of the following 8 questions:
    1.    Is the property within a priority zone?  Map showing priority zones »
    2.    Has the property been empty for more than 6 months?
    3.    Are there other empty retail/commercial properties within 50 metres from this one?
    4.    Can the property be seen clearly from the street?
    5.    Is the property in poor condition? eg rotten wood, leaking gutters, broken signage, damp, plumbing or electrical problems
    6.    When the work has been carried out will the property be suitable for trading or rent?
    7.    Will the renovation make a positive difference to the surrounding area?
    8.    Will the business create new employment?

The grant covers

  • External renovations or improvements to front elevations of buildings
  • Internal ground floor fit-outs to commercial properties
  • Professional fees including planning and consultancy fees and advisory services. Property owners needing specialist advice on bringing their building back into commercial use can apply for an additional £500 grant.

To apply you will need

  • A completed application form
  • Evidence that:
    • You are the freeholder or written consent from your landlord
    • You have funds available for your share of the renovation works
    • You have any required permissions including planning permission
  • Details of your proposals for the property and plans for the business and why they are suitable for the building/area
  • 2 quotes for the work
  • Recent photos of the property showing it’s condition
  • Photographic I.D.
  • A sustainable business plan and a three year financial plan

Apply for an empty property grant »

What happens after you apply?

Completed applications (applications that have all the relevant paperwork and evidence required)  will be assessed monthly.   Once the application has been assessed we will contact you to confirm if your application has been accepted.  We will not consider any applications that are incomplete.

When will the grant be paid?

After a grant has been approved the money will be paid when:

  • Evidence of the expenditure has been provided (VAT invoices)
  • The work is being carried out satisfactorily (we will inspect the works).  This includes planning and building control sign off, advertising consent for new signage and awnings plus any required licensing certificates

The final £1,000 will be withheld until satisfactory completion of the works.

Terms and conditions

  • Properties must be over 10 years old
  • Quotes for the work must be provided:
    • Grants of over £5,000: at least two quotes where possible
    • Grants below £5,000: one quote
  • Grant applications must be made before any work takes place
  • Our staff must be allowed to inspect the works and see all relevant documentation
  • This grant scheme can be used in conjunction with the No Use Empty scheme Kent's empty property initiative
  • Any grant money awarded for must be repaid within 5 years of the payment if:
    • The property is sold
    • The property is empty for a total of more than 4 months in any 12 month period


Apply for an empty property grant »

Questions or further information

If you have any queries or need further information or advice please email jayne.miles@dover.gov.uk.