New scheme aims to reduce number of vacant properties in Tralee town centre
A new grant-based incentive scheme which aims to reduce the number of vacant properties in Tralee town centre has been launched by Kerry County Council. The Business Incentive Scheme is designed to encourage both landlords and new or aspiring business owners or leasers to occupy vacant premises by offering a grant towards the level of rates payable on the property.
The scheme, which will be in place up to the end of 2020, will be available to existing businesses, those relocating or expanding from outside the county and existing businesses maintaining their current location and expanding into a new location.
Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Graham Spring, welcomed the initiative as a further stimulus to economic growth in the town centre.
“Kerry County Council has already led significant improvements in Tralee through the Urban Regeneration Development Fund and improvements to the public realm in the Mall and Denny Street areas.
“This initiative encourages more people to live and work in the town core, to bring vacant properties both at ground and upper floor levels back into productive use, and to generate a vibrancy in the town centre as a location for economic and social activities.
“Management and elected councillors are aware of the challenges facing businesses especially town centre retail, in particular through competition from online shopping. The purpose of this Business Incentive Scheme is to incentivise both landlords and new business owners to occupy vacant premises through a grant to offset commercial rates costs.
“By encouraging the occupation of vacant premises, the council will also support the improvement in appearance and attraction of the commercial properties and thereby contribute indirectly to increased footfall for existing businesses,” said Cllr Spring.
Council Chief Executive, Moira Murrell welcomed the new scheme as a pilot initiative: “This scheme is part of the council’s wider approach towards the rejuvenation of Tralee and stems from analysis such as the Tralee Town Health Check report. It follows the €40m investment in the regeneration of the town core and complements the development of the Island of Geese and the Tralee Local Area Plan.”
Tralee Municipal District Manager, Mike Scannell said the scheme would assist in job creation and in sustaining employment in the town.
“It will also improve and diversify the commercial offering in Tralee Town Centre and generate new vibrancy. It will build on recent and planned Town Centre public realm enhancements and on the existing range of recent initiatives with agencies including Enterprise Ireland, the IDA as well as IT Tralee, representative groups including Tralee Chamber Alliance and property owners in the town.”
More information and application details are available from [email protected] or the Economic Development Unit of Kerry County Council.