New loans available for Southend’s empty commercial properties

March 23, 2023

Owners of empty commercial property and developers in the City are being encouraged to bring life back to their buildings through the use of the Southend-led ‘No Use Empty’ (NUE) scheme.

‘No Use Empty’ was launched in early 2022 and has successfully met its first stage target, loaning just over £1m to owners and developers in Southend-on-Sea, and across South Essex. With the success over the last year the scheme is about to access a second tranche of Government funding. The NUE scheme is a key element of the city centre strategy and investment plan to help get empty units back into use.

Commercial property owners can now register an expression of interest for loans of between £50,000 and £200,000 at 0% interest. These are available for a maximum of three years to bring a wide range of empty commercial properties back into use, within the local authority areas of Southend-on-Sea, Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford and Thurrock.

Eligible projects supported to date, have included the development of an empty bank premises and an old supermarket building for alternative commercial use, as well as mixed use conversions from commercial to residential.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, cabinet member for economic recovery, regeneration and housing, said: “I am delighted that we are now able to access a further £1m of 0% loan funding, enabling us to support ongoing regeneration in our City.

“Over time empty properties can become an eyesore to the public and a burden to their owners, the longer they are left empty the more costly they can be to bring life back into the property, which is why this scheme is highly welcomed in Southend.

“The funding is on a first come first served basis and with interest rates continually on the rise, we are anticipating a significant number of applications. So make sure to submit your expression of interest as soon as possible.”

Further details and information on how to apply can be found on the South Essex ‘No Use Empty’ webpage, here: or by emailing the team on


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