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Extra £1m funding available to develop South Essex empty commercial properties

Owners of empty commercial properties are being encouraged to bring their buildings back into use through the No Use Empty (NUE) scheme.

Following the success of last year’s Southend-led NUE scheme, which provides zero interest loans to business owners who are bringing empty properties back into commercial use, a further £1million of government funding has been made available as the fund opens again for new applications.

The NUE scheme was launched early 2022 and successfully met its first stage target of loaning just over £1m to owners in Rochford and across South Essex.

Projects supported to date have included the development of an old supermarket building for alternative commercial use in Rochford town and an empty bank premises, as well as mixed use conversions from commercial to residential.

Cllr Michael Hoy, Rochford District Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Resources, Climate Change & Economy, said: “The extra funding will further support the Rochford economy as well as allowing us to regenerate our local communities. The scheme so far has enabled an empty building which was previously a supermarket in Rochford Town, to be regenerated into other commercial uses which benefits the local economy significantly and provides jobs in our district.

“The Council is finding promising ways to overcome those hurdles which will ultimately find positive uses for vacant buildings. This scheme is a great way to rejuvenate empty commercial properties within our district. I really hope these great opportunities are embraced.

”The NUE scheme operates within the local authority areas of Rochford District, Southend-on-Sea, Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, and Thurrock. With loan values for eligible business or individual applicants from £50,000 to £250,000.

Further details and information on how to apply can be found on the South Essex ‘No Use Empty’ webpage or by emailing the team at: