Renfrewshire Council

Grants for businesses to move into town centre premises

What the Town Centre Premises Grant is, who can apply for it, what you can and can't use it for, how to apply, conditions of the grant.

What the Town Centre Premises Grant is

The grant can help businesses move into empty, ground-floor commercial premises in town centres across Renfrewshire, including:

  • Paisley 
  • Johnstone 
  • Renfrew 
  • Linwood 
  • Erskine.

You could get a grant of up to 50% of your project costs.

The maximum amount is £25,000.

Who can apply for it

You can apply for the grant if you:

  • are a small-to-medium sized business (you have less than 250 employees worldwide)
  • are a full-time business with a business bank account
  • will operate from a previously vacant ground floor town centre commercial property in Paisley, Renfrew, Johnstone, Linwood or Erskine
  • have or will take out a lease of at least 36 months (3 full years) on the premises
  • are the only business named on the lease or rental agreement
  • have a current lease for another property and will continue to trade from there for at least 2 years after you start trading from your new property
  • offer a product or service that's different or not available already in the area.

You can be an established business, have just started your business or be about to start a business.

You can't apply if:

  • you're a community group, voluntary group or charitable organisation
  • you're in debt to the Council 
  • your business is bankrupt or in liquidation.

See what other funding and grants are available for charities, social enterprises, community and voluntary groups

The following types of businesses are excluded from applying:

  • multi-level marketing or pyramid selling businesses
  • franchises where the franchiser has control over the business decisions
  • betting shops
  • pawnbrokers
  • beauty industry businesses, such as nail bars, aesthetics clinics, hairdressers or barbers
  • amusement or gaming arcades
  • tobacconists or vape shops
  • most fast-food and dessert outlets
  • convenience stores 
  • shops that offer adult or sexual content
  • businesses or activities for political, religious or charitable purposes.

If you own an empty commercial premise

If you're an owner or landlord of an empty commercial premises in a town centre, contact us at or call 0141 530 2406 to discuss renting your premises out to prospective applicants.

We will consider properties if they:

What you can and cannot use the grant for

You can use the grant for:

  • improving the premises
  • fixtures and fittings
  • security equipment and installation
  • business stationery
  • advertising and marketing
  • rent
  • planning permission or building regulation fees
  • insurance premiums.

You cannot use the grant for:

  • buying vehicles
  • employee wages 
  • utility bills.

How to apply

If you've seen an empty town centre property you'd like to use for your business, get in touch with us.

Or if you haven't got a specific property in mind, we can help you find a suitable place for your business.

Contact our Business Development Team:

If we match you with a suitable premises and your business is eligible for the grant, you can start the formal grant application process.

You'll need to complete an application form and provide us with:

  • recent annual accounts if you're an established business
  • an up-to-date business plan
  • at least two years' financial forecasts - such as profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow forecast
  • the quotes for what you will use the grant for. 

When we receive all your paperwork, we'll arrange a meeting with you to discuss your application. We'll let you know within 2 weeks if your application was successful. If it is, we'll make a formal grant offer to you.

The grant is discretionary, and we reserve the right to decline applications that don't meet the grant objectives. Our decision is final and is not subject to appeal. 

Conditions of the grant

The grant is intended to support your business to trade from a new property. It is not intended to be the main source of funding for your new venture.

You should not begin your project until we have approved your grant. We can't award the grant  for works or expenses you've paid for before we've approved your grant application.

You must pay approved expenses through your business bank account and have supplier invoices to support this. You can't claim expenses for cash payments to suppliers.

We will give you the grant when your payments for expenses and suppliers have been completed.