Terms and Conditions of Occupation of Vacant Commercial Premises Scheme

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Terms and Conditions of the Occupation of Vacant Commercial Premises Scheme

Please read the following full terms and conditions of the Occupation of Vacant Commercial Premises Scheme. 

Eligibility for The Occupation of Vacant Commercial Premises Scheme

The Scheme will be available to:
  • a newly established business located within County Longford
  • an existing business relocating or expanding from outside County Longford
  • an existing business maintaining current location and expanding into a new location in County Longford
The following requirements apply to all applicants:
  •  The applicant must be the owner or lessee of the subject premises
  • The applicant must have a current Tax Clearance Certificate
  • The applicant must sign up for Standing Order payments of any charges due to the Council
  • The application must be accompanied by a lease agreement whereby the parties agree to a minimum rolling three-year lease period, renewed each year
The following prerequisites apply to the subject premises:
  • The Scheme is applicable to the use of existing rated commercial properties that are listed as vacant on Longford Local Authorities Register of Vacant Properties, produced by 31st January each year (no exceptions)
  • There are no outstanding enforcement proceedings or monies due to the Council under the Planning & Development Acts 2000-2014 or the Derelict Sites Act 1990
  • There are no outstanding or current commercial rates, or any other local authority charges owing on the subject premises for which the grant is sought
  • The qualifying uses under this scheme are shops, offices, commercial and industrial businesses
Conditions to the above include the following:
  • The proposed use is in accordance with existing planning permission on the premises
  • The proposed use must not generally include any of the uses or types of businesses in attached Schedule A. The Council may at its discretion award a grant to a premises included in Schedule A where in its opinion there may be a specific local need for that type of premises
The following conditions will lead to immediate disqualification and/or cessation of grant aid under the rules of this Scheme:
  • Failure to remain current on any charges will result in the immediate cessation of the Scheme and the removal of supports
  • Changes to the uses or any of the requirements for the applicant stated above that materially alter the original application for grant aid

Competition Clause:

Potential displacement will be a primary concern in determining the eligibility of any application to the scheme. The executive may deem a project to be ineligible if it has the potential to lead to displacement of existing enterprises.

Provision for Payment of Grant:

Grants may be paid by Longford County Council to qualifying applicants in respect of the rates struck for the subject premises as follows:

  •  End of Year 1 Grant: payable equivalent to 75% of rate paid for subject year (i.e. 12-month period of trading)
  •  End of Year 2 Grant: payable equivalent to 50% of rate paid for subject year
  •  End of Year 3 Grant: payable equivalent to 25% of rate paid for subject year

This Scheme only makes provision for payment of a grant towards the costs associated with the occupation of qualifying vacant properties and does not mitigate in any way the obligation of qualifying applicants to discharge all fees associated with other approvals which may be required to be obtained from Council i.e. planning fees, s.254 licences, and development contributions.

Application for the Occupation of Vacant Application Commercial Premises Scheme:

The initial application must be accompanied by the following: 

  • Completed application form
  • Evidence of unit vacancy exceeding 6 months.
  • Evidence of ownership and occupation of unit (e.g. Land Registry Certificate) or 3 year lease agreement
  • Evidence of permissions/consents for proposed use
  • Evidence of payment of contributions (if applicable), rates and local authority charges
  • Copy of Current Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Evidence that expanding business is continuing in its current location and that all its obligations to the local authority are up to date
Assessment of Applications:

Each application will be assessed in accordance with this Scheme. Longford County Council will interpret each application on face value according to its own discretion. Longford County Council may request further information before or after the evaluation of an application. Longford County Council may communicate to the applicant those aspects of the application that could lead to disqualification or refusal of a grant. Longford County Council may accept an amended application following a request for more information or amendments to the original application. 

Any grant aid awarded on foot of a successful application will be subject to the availability of the necessary funds to implement this Scheme.

Effective period for operation of Scheme

This policy is reviewed on an annual basis and will continue to be offered until 31st December 2020.

The Scheme may be the subject of review and amendment at any time by Longford County Council.

The Scheme will continue to apply to an approved applicant for 3 years, even if the Scheme is subsequently withdrawn or amended.