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New scheme launched to incentivise movement on vacant properties

Portlaoise Vacant Property Scheme
Launching the Vacant Commercial Property Incentive Scheme where Portlaoise is a pilot town, from left: Alison Browne, Laois Chamber President; Caroline Hofman, CEO of Laois Chamber and Honor Deevy, Acting Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Laois. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Laois County Council and Laois Chamber officially launched the Vacant Commercial Property Incentive Scheme this week in Portlaoise.

This scheme offers business owners who are interested in leasing or renting vacant premises a potential package of up to eleven different grants, supports and incentives.

The scheme has been launched to encourage the uptake of vacant premises in the Town Centre by new and potential businesses.

Portlaoise has been designated as the pilot town for this scheme, and it is envisaged that that the scheme could be extended to other towns around the county in the future.

The suite of incentives includes grants such as the Shop Grant Improvement and Accessibility Scheme, Shop Fit Out Scheme, a business promotion package with Laois Chamber, and a complimentary HR advice session with Laois-based Iridium HR.

Speaking at the launch of the new Vacant Commercial Property Incentive Scheme, Denise Rainey of the Business Support Unit, Laois County Council, said:

“We are excited to collaborate on this project with Laois Chamber. It is a significant opportunity for businesses and property owners alike which also has the potential to transform the Town Centre by reducing the level of vacancy in Portlaoise.

Alison Browne, President of Laois Chamber, added: “It makes sense to incentivise new businesses to open in the heart of the towns of Laois.

“We need revival in these areas. The list of supports is very impressive and includes business mentoring, advertising and financial supports which can be very beneficial to receive at the beginning of your business journey.

“It is important to the Chamber that the Pilot Scheme in Portlaoise will be opened to the rest of the County within a very short space of time.”

This new scheme is particularly relevant following the launch of the Government’s first ever Town Centre First policy last month, which is focused on tackling vacancy, combating dereliction, and breathing new life into town centres.

Caroline Hofman, CEO of Laois Chamber welcomed the scheme: “We are delighted to be working with Laois County Council on this important incentive to encourage new and established businesses to lease or rent vacant premises.

“Portlaoise will be the pilot town for this scheme, and we are looking forward to it being extended to other towns throughout the County.

“This scheme will form part of the toolkit to encourage and incentivise the uptake of vacant units, and will help to contribute towards tacking dereliction and revitalising our town centres.”

If you are interested in availing of the scheme, please contact Denise Rainey, Business Support Unit Laois County Council on 057 8664103, visit www.laois.ie, or contact Laois Chamber on 085 2566522 or e-mail info@laoischamber.ie

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