The Activation and Community Engagement (ACE) Fund is one of the six projects brought forward as part of the Towns Fund and its aim is to attract diverse uses to the town centre which will attract footfall and longer dwell times. The grant is open to small businesses, community groups and enterprises and a grant of up to £25,000 is available. There is no set match funding, although we would expect to see some, and would encourage applicants to consider fundraising and crowd funding approaches where necessary to gain community support for their projects. The business would have to be committing to a space (either on a permanent arrangement or in conjunction with other organisations) within the town centre.
The scheme is open to landlords of vacant properties, though it is expected any application to come forward is in conjunction with an identified tenant who can fit with the scheme criteria. If you need assistance finding a suitable property, are a landlord who wishes to get involved and would like help putting in touch with suitable tenants, or you are looking to join up with other organisations to share the responsibility of a property, contact Linda Bulbeck at North East Lincolnshire Council – Linda.firstname.lastname@example.org
The fund will be spread across a 4-year period to enable projects to be developed, the first £100,000 is being launched now, with further £100,000 funding pots released bi-annually between 2022/24.
Full details in the guidance attached and https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/business-and-investment/town-deal/