Liverpool Council offers shops to rent for just £1 a week

Aims to continue regeneration of area

Boarded up shops in Picton, Liverpool.

Following the success of its 'homes for £1' scheme, Liverpool City Council is offering shops to rent for just £1 a week.

Twelve empty units on Smithdown Road and Earle Road in the city's Picton district are up for grabs, with a rent of just a pound a week for the first three years.

Tenants will have to refurbish the properties themselves, and must have a full business plan and finance in place.

"We are giving people with a passion and commitment to the area the chance to create a new business and be part of the hugely exciting grassroots regeneration of Picton," says deputy mayor Ann O'Byrne.

"'Work is going to be starting imminently on refurbishing the first properties as part of the Homes for a Pound Plus scheme, while the recent completion of the Archbishop Blanch School has given the area a tremendous boost."

There are a number of conditions. The proposal has to be for a new business, not an existing one, and it mustn't compete with any existing businesses nearby.

Nor can it be a betting shop, fast food takeaway, tanning salon, off-licence, pub or payday loan organisation. "We will, however, consider community cafés and healthy takeaways," the council says.

After the first three years, rents will be set at a commercial rate that's appropriate for the area of Liverpool and size of the unit, it says.

"Shops and businesses are a vital and integral part of a successful local community," says Gary Millar, the city council's cabinet member for business, enterprise and investment.

"This is about giving people with great ideas and a solid business plan the chance to get their venture off the ground without having to worry about rental costs in the first three years."

Anyone interested can register here by May 9. In the meantime, drop-in clinics are being held for people wanting business advice at Liverpool Central Library between 1pm and 4pm every Thursday.

The 'homes for £1' initiative has been a great success so far, with the pilot scheme in 2013 attracting about 1,000 applicants for the 20 properties offered around Granby Four Streets and Arnside Road.

This time last year, another 150 houses were added to the scheme, and there are plans to bring in another 2,000.

"This is a hugely exciting time for Picton and I believe we are on the cusp of a real upturn in its fortunes driven by the community, supported by the city council," says O'Byrne.

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