140 apply for £1-a-month Liverpool retail units

140 entrepreneurs bid for the chance to secure one of two retail units in Liverpool with rents of just £1 a month. Tony McDonough reports

One of the retail units in Smithdown Road available for just £1 a month


Liverpool City Council says it has received 140 applications from entrepreneurs who want to grab the opportunity to occupy a retail unit for just £1 a month.

In July LBN reported how the council had launched the project, offering two retail units in Smithdown Road in south Liverpool for a monthly rental of just £1. Now the deadline for applications has passed.

Six derelict shop units in Smithdown Road have been refurbished by a developer. Four have been allocated to new businesses and there are now two available units under Shops for a Pound scheme.

It sees rent set at just £1 month for the first three years. In years four and five there is a reduced rent of £400 per calendar month. After that the units will be charged at full market rate.

However, certain types of businesses are disqualified from the scheme. They include betting shops or gambling establishments, a general fast food takeaway, a tanning salon, off-licence, pub, or a payday lender. However, community cafés and healthy takeaways will be considered.

When it unveiled the project in July the council said: “We are seeking expressions of interest from people who would like to run a business in one of these units. They must have a full business plan and the finance in place to start up a business.”

There are also other restrictions. The business must not directly duplicate or compete with an existing business in the neighbourhood. It also must not receive a grant or contributions from any public sector source of more than £315,000 over the three-year period

Applicants will also need to prepare a business plan to upload with their application. A good business plan should include.

The council will now sift through the applications and whittle them down to a shortlist. It asked applicants to consider how their proposals would contribute to the six priority areas of the City Plan. These priority areas are health, education, neighbourhoods, economy, culture and climates.

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