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Business Incentive Scheme to Encourage the Use of Vacant Commercial Premises

Westmeath County Council 


Westmeath County Council recognises the impact of the current recession on the business community and society at large. People are struggling to make ends meet and many business are struggling to remain open. Unfortunately, many business have also closed and there are vacant premises throughout the county. These vacant premises can be visually detrimental in an area and are an untapped resource in terms of economic enterprise and activity.

The Council is keen to see these vacant premises in use for a number of reasons including:

  • To provide employment opportunities
  • To generate economic activity
  • To improve the appearance of our towns and villages
  • To improve the viability and vitality of our towns, villages and rural areas
  • To generate rates income to fund local services
  • To see unused assets in productive use

For these reasons, the Council is proposing to establish a three year grant scheme to incentivise the reuse of vacant premises.

Scheme Details

Grants may be paid by Westmeath County Council to Qualifying Applicants in respect of Qualifying property as follows:

Year 1: Grant payable equivalent to 40% of rate demand for subject year   

Year 2: Grant payable equivalent to 30% of rate demand for subject year   

Year 3: Grant payable equivalent to 20% of rate demand for subject year

Year 4: No Grant Payable

The Grant will be paid within 4 weeks of the payment of the annual commercial rate demand for that year for the property in question, or more frequently if agreed between the Council and the ratepayer. The grant payable will not exceed 40% of the rates paid.

Qualifying Conditions

  • The property must have been vacant for a minimum period of 6 months immediately prior to the 1st of October 2014.
  • The property must be rated.
  • The property must be owned by the applicant or subject to a minimum 12 month lease.
  • The property must have the appropriate permissions and consents for the proposed use.
  • The property and applicant must have all rates, contributions and local authority charges paid in full at the time of the application.
  • The applicant must have a current Tax Clearance Certificate.


This scheme will be reviewed annually.

Click here to download the application form

For further information contact:

Christine Charlton  

Local Enterprise Office

Westmeath County Council

Email: info@leo.westmeathcoco.ie

Tel: 044 93 38945