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Transforming Towns: placemaking grants

Transforming Towns was launched by the Welsh Government in January 2020 to address the decline in town and city centres and the reduced demand for high street retail.

The focus of the programme is sustainable growth of our towns and cities, and their transformation into places of living, working, learning and leisure.  

Projects funded by the Transforming Towns Programme will be located in town and city centres. They will typically focus on the built environment and might include interventions such as the refurbishment and repurposing of empty and derelict buildings; new build projects; improving biodiversity through green infrastructure; and improvements to public spaces. The purpose of the work is to boost the variety of services on offer in towns, create flexible working and living space and increase access to services and leisure.

Residential units in town centres

To convert vacant floor-space on upper floors into new residential accommodation. The minimum requirement from each scheme is 1 x 1 bedroom self-contained flat. 

Schemes are expected to be a mix of one- and two-bedroom units with ratio determined by layout of building and planning consent.

Schemes should comply to the minimum floor space as recommended in the most up to date Welsh Housing Quality Standards, currently this is:

  1. 50m² per one-bedroom flat
  2. 70m² per two-bedroom flat

Air BnB, social housing and student accommodation (bedsits and studios) are not eligible for grant funding.

Commercial property improvement grants

The Property Improvement Grant is available to commercial building occupiers and owners within town centres. Its purpose is to enhance building frontages together with the upgrade of vacant commercial floor space to bring it back into beneficial business use. 

New / upgraded floor space must be for business use, with each scheme determined on its individual merits. Offices, independent leisure, retail, food and drink uses will be considered. Mixed-use schemes will also be considered.

Offices or commercial premises above retail units will also be considered for support.

External works

External works to the building can include work deemed necessary for the structural integrity of the property. Items might include:  

  • shop fronts
  • signage
  • windows and doors
  • external lighting
  • roofs and chimneys
  • rainwater goods (guttering and down pipes)
  • rendering, stone cleaning and repairs, re-pointing 
  • structural works

Internal works

Internal works to the building can include all work, visible or structural, necessary to complete the project to building regulations. This might include:

  • windows and doors
  • improved accessibility
  • walls, ceilings, lighting
  • energy efficiency measures when included as part of the overall scheme
  • utilities and services, including heating
  • welfare facilities (for example essential washroom and cleansing facilities only) 
  • structural work 

New build

New build commercial floor-space could be eligible, where a local need for this has been identified.

Green infrastructure

The provision of green infrastructure and biodiversity projects in town centres. Specifically but not exclusively:

  • green walls
  • green roofs
  • rain gardens
  • greening
  • pocket parks

This support will not contribute to ongoing maintenance costs in future financial years.

Town centre external trading support

The provision of outdoor seating, planters, coverings, serving areas and building canopies. This support is in line with the Covid-19 response grant 2020/21.

Shop frontage enveloping schemes

External shop frontage enhancements whereby no internal modification or redevelopment is undertaken.

For more information or to register your interest in any of these grants, please contact our business support team.

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