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Further £1m of loan funding available to develop Southend’s empty commercial properties

Following the success of the Southend led ‘No Use Empty’ (NUE) scheme, which provides zero interest loans to developers and owners who are bringing empty properties back into commercial or residential use, the fund is now open again for new applications.

‘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.

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.

This second tranche of government funding, provided through SELEP, will support a new batch of loans at 0% interest for up to 3 years.

The scheme operates within the local authority areas of Southend-on-Sea, Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford and Thurrock. With loan values for eligible business or individual applicants from £50,000 to £250,000.

Cllr Daniel Nelson, cabinet member for economic growth & investment, said: “This additional funding enables us to continue the support of regeneration in our City, and rising interest rates mean that the 0% benefits are increasingly significant”.

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