Grants available to fill empty shops in Wiltshire town and city centres

A SCHEME to being empty shops in Wiltshire towns and cities back into use is open for applications.

The new Vibrant Wiltshire grants programme will support businesses and organisations in the county in reinvigorating shops and commercial areas with grants of up to £10,000.

The new vacant units grants, part of the Wiltshire Towns Programme, will help small-scale and micro businesses, including startups, to occupy previously vacant commercial spaces in town centres across the county.

Wiltshire Council is now welcoming applications from businesses ahead of the grant applications closing date, on February 15, and is encouraging bids from businesses that offer services or engage in creative, cultural, and community-oriented activities.

Town and parish councils can also apply for funding to fill vacant units. However, all applications that meet the criteria will be considered.

Cllr Richard Clewer, council leader and cabinet member for economic development, said: “The Vibrant Wiltshire grants are geared towards helping small businesses to occupy vacant shops and commercial spaces across our high streets, supporting the county’s businesses and enhancing the vibrancy of our market towns.

“Filling empty units high street shops and supporting local businesses to move into town centre locations adds to the existing shopping and service options and attracts more visitors, increasing the number of visitors and boosting spend.

“This investment of £500,000 into helping Wiltshire businesses is a key part of our Business Plan commitment to support our town centres and encourage them to thrive.”

The Vibrant Wiltshire grants range from £1,000 to a maximum of £10,000.

The types of businesses eligible may be those providing services, and/or creative, cultural and community uses in the following town centres: Amesbury, Bradford on Avon, Calne, Chippenham, Corsham, Cricklade, Devizes, Downton, Ludgershall, Malmesbury, Marlborough, Melksham, Mere, Pewsey, Royal Wootton Bassett, Salisbury, Tidworth, Tisbury, Trowbridge, Warminster, Westbury and Wilton.

Businesses must bring empty commercial units back into use on a permanent or temporary basis within eligible areas.

Applications can be made by business owners or directors of registered independent businesses, charities or social enterprises, or sole traders or self-employed individuals, who are bringing a new business to a town centre or relocating a current business within a town centre. A signed lease for the premises is required.

To find out more about the Vibrant Wiltshire grants, people should go to, or email

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