Wiltshire Council has extended the deadline for businesses to apply for Vibrant Wiltshire vacant units grants programme. The new deadline for applications is Monday 15 April.

The grants, which are part of the Wiltshire Towns Programme, opened in January 2024 and will offer grants worth up to £10,000 to small or micro businesses, including new start-ups, that wish to lease or rent a previously empty commercial property in a town centre location.

The programme is available for businesses that open premises in eligible town centre areas throughout the county. The types of businesses that qualify for the programme may provide services or offer creative, cultural and community uses.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “We know the impact that empty shops have on our high streets so we’ve extended the deadline as we want to give as many businesses as possible the chance to apply for the programme.

“The Vibrant Wiltshire grants programme will improve our market towns as it will fill empty shops and commercial units, attracting more visitors to our high streets throughout Wiltshire.

“The programme will contribute to the expansion of existing shopping and service options by supporting local businesses into town centre locations.

“We’re committed to creating and supporting vibrant town centres in our business plan, and that’s why we’ve allocated £500,000 to the Vibrant Wiltshire grants to support our high streets.”

The Vibrant Wiltshire grants range from £1,000 to a maximum of £10,000. The types of businesses eligible may be those providing services, and/or creative, cultural and community uses into the following town centres: Amesbury, Bradford on Avon, Calne, Chippenham, Corsham, Cricklade, Devizes, Downton, Ludgershall, Malmesbury, Marlborough, Melksham, Mere, Pewsey, Royal Wootton Bassett, Salisbury, Tidworth, Tisbury, Trowbridge, Warminster, Westbury and Wilton. Businesses must bring empty commercial units back into use on a permanent or temporary basis within eligible areas.

Applications can be made by business owners or directors of registered independent businesses, charities or social enterprises, or sole traders or self-employed individuals, including Town and Parish Councils who are bringing a new business to a town centre or relocating a current business within a town centre. A signed lease for the premises is required.

To find out more, people should visit or email [email protected].