Town Centre Property Improvement Grant (TCPIG)
The Town Centre Property Improvement Grant, supported by the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Programme, has been established to support businesses in town centres and cities to develop and upgrade their properties. We acknowledge that town centre businesses have, and continue to, face an economically challenging time and this grant can help improve business premises.
What is the Town Centre Property Improvement Grant (TCPIG)?
This Grant is a Welsh Government scheme which, initially, we are piloting in Buckley and Shotton for one year from April 2023. The grant is available for independent, small and medium sized businesses who operate, or plan to operate, in Buckley Town Centre or Shotton Town Centre. The improvement projects must be completed by the end of March 2024. Therefore, we encourage you to apply early to comply with these timeframes as we are expecting a significant amount of interest in this grant.
The scheme offers support for retail and commercial building occupiers and owners. The grant can be used to enhance building frontages and bring vacant commercial floor space back into beneficial business use and repurpose properties where appropriate.
The main purpose of the fund is to try and make a tangible difference to the appearance of our town and city centres making them more attractive places to visit and work; encouraging people to spend their time and money there. The Council will, therefore, support improvements to business premises within the main commercial centre (generally the high street - or similar - and locations immediately adjacent).
What works are eligible?
The proposed scope of works on the properties could potentially include the following:
External works to the building frontages would be considered without the need for internal work. This can include work deemed necessary for the structural integrity and the end use of the property, particularly where there is a change of use proposed. Items may include:
- Improved Display Windows
- Signage Improvements
- Windows & Doors
- External Lighting
- Roofs and Chimneys
- Rainwater Goods
- Rendering, Stone Cleaning and Repairs, Repointing; and
- Structural Works
Internal works would only be eligible for funding as part of a comprehensive package of external improvements to the building or for where a proposed change of use is required. This should include all work, visible or structural, necessary to complete the project to Building Regulations. This may include:
- Windows & Doors
- Improved Accessibility
- Walls, Ceilings, Lighting
- Utilities and Services, Including Heating
- Welfare Facilities (e.g. essential washroom and cleansing facilities only); and
- Structural Work
In addition, any works to improve the energy efficiency of the building (e.g enhanced insulation), will be eligible, as part of a broader suite of works.
I’m a lease holder, am I still eligible?
Grant and loans will be made available to owners of the freehold interest in the property or persons holding a lease with 7 years or more remaining at the date of the application who have secured their (head) landlord’s written consent to the proposed works.
How do I apply?
The first stage is to contact the Regeneration Team by email on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your application. The Regeneration Team will ensure that you are fully informed and supported throughout the process. The Regeneration Team can provide an application form and assist with its completion.
What should I include with the application form to support my application?
The grant application form should be completed in line with the guidance produced to assist applicants and should include full designs and costings for the project. Applicants may need to provide all, or some, of the following dependent on the project:
- Recent photographs of the property
- Notification of planning approval and approved plans/drawings
- Drawings and schedules of internal and external works
- Relevant statutory consents such as building controls
- Mortgage lender or landlord consent if applicable
- A statement showing fees, such as professional fees which are to be incurred as part of the capital works. Confirmation that the full cost of the works can be paid prior to submitting the grant claim. (This might be in the form of a letter from the bank)
- Financial information is required for due diligence purposes so that there is confidence that public money is being invested properly
- Information on business planning to support the proposed venture
- Copy of title deeds or lease document
It is advised to employ a professional architect or similar agent to assist in the design and project management of the project. Costs associated with this cannot be covered by the grant but are eligible for match funding.
Are there any particular conditions relating to this grant?
Yes, you will need to have the normal planning/ building control permissions approved before any applications can progress.
How is my application assessed?
Schemes will be presented to the Flintshire Regeneration Panel for a decision on the grant application. The deadline for submission of applications to be considered by the panel at one of its monthly meetings is outlined below. In addition, the dates of the panel and the date by which the outcome of the application will be communicated to the applicant is noted.
|Monthly deadline for submission of applications (to be received by 5pm).||Panel Meeting – to consider applications on||Decision to be communicated to applicant by:|
|Monday 12 June 2023
||Monday 19 June 2023
||Monday 26 June 2023
|Monday 10 July 2023
||Wednesday 19 July 2023
||Wednesday 26 July 2023
|Tuesday 8 August 2023
||Thursday 17 August 2023
||Thursday 24 August 2023
|Monday 11 September 2023
||Tuesday 19 September 2023
||Tuesday 26 September 2023
|Monday 9 October 2023
||Tuesday 17 October 2023
||Tuesday 24 October 2023
|Monday 6 November 2023
||Tuesday 14 November 2023
||Tuesday 21 November 2023
|Monday 4 December 2023
||Tuesday 12 December 2023
||Tuesday 19 December 2023
Please note not all panel meetings will be held if the grant funding available is fully allocated to projects sooner than the meeting dates. Applications are therefore encouraged for the earlier panel dates, as the funding is limited and expected to be in high demand.
Applications are assessed on the basis of its positive benefit to the local area including environment, but the level of grant (subject to state aid rules) may be limited by the size and nature of the project, viability gap or the company’s financial status.
Applications (minimum £5k and up to a maximum of £50k) for TCPIG funding will be fully assessed with recommendations presented by a member of the Regeneration Team. Intervention rates can be determined by each individual local authority based on local market conditions up to a maximum of 70% grant support.
Decisions made will be:
- Approval subject to conditions
- Reject - Full justification will be provided to any applicant whose application is rejected.
Can I get a loan to pay for the remaining 30%+ of monies required for the works?
Yes, Flintshire County Council can provide a 0% interest repayable loan to pay for the works (if eligible) that are not covered by grant funds (application fees apply). There aren’t any early repayment fees for a loan of this type. Please contact the Regeneration Team by email on email@example.com if you would like more information.
Alternatively, you can also secure loans or funding from other parties for the remaining 30% (evidence of this will be required).
When would I need to have the work done?
As part of the terms and conditions of the grant, two key dates will be given – one by which time the grant recipient must start work on site, and one by which time work must be completed on site.
All schemes must have completed their works and expenditure by the end of each financial year (April to the end of March). There will be a pre-start meeting with an officer from the Regeneration Team to ensure that the grant recipient is happy with all the terms and conditions and to discuss any further issues with the project. A planning officer, or other relevant officer, may also attend this meeting if any planning matters need to be clarified. The Regeneration Team will ask the grant recipient or the contractor to erect a grant sign in a prominent location. This advertises the availability of grant and promotes the funding bodies.
Will I need to provide updates in relation to the project?
It is your responsibility to monitor the work. However, the grant officer will also attend site meetings and should be advised of any deviation from the agreed plan. If advice is not sought, an approved grant may not be paid in respect of these items. Any changes to specifications of materials, building details or designs should be reported to an officer from the Regeneration Team and, where relevant, the planning officer to ensure that changes are in line with planning requirements. Any changes to cost or timescale of the project should also be reported to the grant officer as soon as they are realised. Note that the outputs put in your grant application form will form part of the legal contract for you to deliver, and monitoring is therefore an important mechanism in achieving these.
How do I claim the grant money?
Flintshire County Council will take a tailored approach to stage payments of funds to the applicant. Once the project is complete, a site visit will be held to inspect the work (interim payments can be made on request). A final account, detailing all the work undertaken should be produced. This will be done by the contractor, agent or architect. All invoices from the contractor and the professional fees must be presented to the grant officer. These should be accompanied with bank statements showing the payment of the invoices. An assessment will be made on the final account, invoices and bank statements. A report will then be written and approved by relevant officers. The Regeneration Team will work with you to arrange payment in a timely manner.
Please note that the funding will need to be approved before the works can take place.
Mr Jones owns a building in Shotton which used to be a Butchers Shop. The shop has been vacant for 3 years and has recently been blighted by vandalism including a broken shop window and fly tipping on land to the side of the property. Internally, the premises comprises a large shop front, with two separate rooms to the back that were used as an abattoir. The property owner would like to repurpose the building as a Hairdressers and therefore needs to change the internal layout whilst retaining the old features of the building. Other works needed include making the premises more energy efficient, upgrading electrics and replastering.
Mr Jones has appointed a surveyor who could professionally survey the premises, who has advised and estimated that the project would cost £10,000. Mr Jones therefore would like to apply to Flintshire County Council for £10,000 from the Town Centre Property Improvement Grant scheme.
Mr Jones’ first step in the application process was to contact Flintshire County Council Regeneration team. A Regeneration Officer from the team contacted him and set up a brief meeting to discuss the project with in full. Mr Jones was eligible to apply for the Town Centre Property Improvement Grant scheme, and the grant money is paid retrospectively.
Mr Jones completed an application form for the Town Centre Property Improvement Grant scheme and included a full design of the building refit, detailed costings for all works and timescales of the project. The application was presented to the Flintshire Regeneration Panel and was successful in securing the grant funding in full.
Mr Jones received the grant offer in writing and was then able to proceed with the works. He was given two key dates one by which work would have to have started and a completion date as well.
As the works proceeded there was a problem with the electrics and the plans had to be deviated from. Mr Jones contacted the grants officer from Flintshire County Council to explain that the plan has had to be changed so the Grants Officer went to Mr Jones’ building to ensure that the deviation is still within the limits of the grant approval which they were.
Once the works were completed and Mr Jones was happy with the work, he invited the Regeneration Officer to the site to ensure that the works carried out aligned to the work detailed in the grant application form and that the grant money could be released as soon as possible. Mr Jones produced a final account which detailed the work undertaken. Once the grant officer was satisfied the grant money was released to Mr Jones.
As a result of the grant, a long-term empty property has been returned into use, providing a regular rental income for the landlord, good quality accommodation for a new local hairdressing business, creating 2 new full-time jobs and an important part of the local heritage of the community being preserved for the future.