Attention all property owners in Antrim town centre! Antrim Borough Council is seeking expressions of interest from local property owners who may want to take advantage of grants under a new town centre living initiative, known as Living Over the shop (LOTS). The aim of LOTS is to encourage private rented residential accommodation over shops to help promote regeneration.
Northern Ireland Housing Executive has recently successfully piloted the scheme in Lisburn and Derry and is proposing to extend it to other towns. The Housing Executive believes LOTS contributes to the regeneration of towns by providing greater vitality in the town, good quality private rented accommodation, safer environments, a town centre evening economy and increased custom for local shops and services.
Karen Brown, Antrim Borough Councils Development Manager for Regeneration & Enterprise explains, ‘LOTS could be a cost effective means of accommodating additional housing in Antrim town centre and this, in turn, should generate many social and economic benefits to enhance the vitality and viability of Antrim town. LOTS can offer generous grant assistance towards eligible costs up to a maximum of £30,000 to provide private rented residential accommodation within vacant or under-utilised upper floors of shops and other commercial buildings. Grants of 75% of eligible expenditure are available up to a maximum per property of £25,000, where one flat results or £30,000 if more than one flat is created.’
Karen concludes, ‘The LOTS Scheme is one of the key actions contained in the Antrim town Masterplan produced last May and is expected to bring significant social, economic and financial benefits to the town. Antrim will be competing against other provincial towns in Northern Ireland, so it is crucial that as many interested landlords as possible can be identified now. I would urge property owners to consider the scheme and submit an Expression of Interest form.’
Owners of property in Antrim town centre who are interested in finding out more about the scheme or submitting an Expression of Interest form should contact Karen Brown, Antrim Borough Council Tel: 9446 3113 or email email@example.com