Loan funding still available for developing Southend’s empty commercial properties

September 23, 2022

Following the launch of the ‘No Use Empty’ (NUE) scheme in March this year, a number of commercial property developments across South Essex are already being supported with 0% interest loans, with some loans still available.

The Southend-led NUE project is using £2.2m of Government funding to help return empty commercial properties to use, either as an alternative commercial use or a mixed use of residential and commercial. Through the initiative, 0% interest loans of up to £175,000 are available to support eligible projects. Loans are for a maximum of three years and are available across the local authority areas of Southend-on-Sea, Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford and Thurrock. There is still time to apply though funding is limited, so potential applicants are urged to express their interest today through the council website.

One of the first projects to be supported is an empty supermarket conversion in Rochford, which is being re-developed for mixed use office space plus a coffee lounge. In Southend, NUE is also helping to fund the re-development of an old bank premises, and there is a scheme underway to completely update an empty shop unit and convert the upper floors into housing.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, cabinet member for economic recovery, regeneration and housing, said: “With interest rates on the rise, we are providing a cost-effective route to funding local development projects. I look forward to seeing further loan applications to help reactivate as many empty commercial units across our city as possible.”

Further details and information on how to apply can be found on the South Essex No Use Empty SENUE web page or by emailing the team on


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