Independent Retailer Grant

As part of the Council's strategy to support Andover and Romsey town centres, an Independent Retailer Grant of £1,200 is available to encourage independently-owned retailers to take up vacant space.

The £1,200 (applications received on or after 1 April 2021) is designed to attract independent retailers into vacant premises in Romsey and Andover, and is one of a series of measure to support the town centres.


  • New or existing businesses moving into ground floor premises which have been vacant for at least one month in the Primary Shopping Areas of Andover and Romsey
  • Use Classes E(a) (Shops), E(b) (Restaurants and Cafés) and E(e) (Provision of medical or health services (except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner))
  • Sui Generis Tattoo Parlours, Beauticians, Massage Parlours and Nail Bars
  • Dependent on all other relevant Council consents (e.g. planning permission, other licenses etc.).
  • You should apply for the grant BEFORE you start the new business.
  • Only one grant per business in any 5 years will be paid.

Please see the maps attached indicating the primary and secondary areas for Andover and Romsey town centres, plus Key. The Primary Shopping Area (solid light blue coloured area) within which are Primary Shopping Frontages (dashed/broken dark blue line) and Secondary Shopping Frontages (solid dark blue line)

The grant does not apply to:

  • Nationally-owned multiple chains
  • Remaining Class E uses[1] and Sui Generis uses (with the exception of Tattoo Parlours, Beauticians, Massage Parlours and Nail Bars)
  • Charity shops
  • Businesses already in receipt of the Business Incentive Grant.

Decisions on awarding the grant are made by the Economic Development Officer in consultation with the Head of Finance and Revenues and Economic Development and Tourism Portfolio Holder.

Payment is staged, £600 after 3 months and £600 after 9 months subject to the applicant providing evidence of trading (based on a pro forma) to the Economic Development Officer.

Any Independent Retailer occupying the Andover Retail Incubator (which has received the £250 IRG) is eligible for a second Independent Retailer Grant within 5 years subject to the total combined grants not exceeding £1200 and meeting the other eligibility criteria.

[1] Classes E(ci/ii/iii), E(d), E(f) and E(gi/ii/iii)


Specific support for town centre businesses


·         Support for Andover residents employed in Andover shops from the Andover Skills Training Fund 

·         Support with marketing to new residential neighbourhoods.

Generic business support

The Council already provides general support for new businesses starting up in Test Valley, which will be available to new independent businesses if they want it. The Independent Retailer Grant complements this general help:

·         Support with a promotional press release

·         Joined-up and supportive approach to TVBC responsibilities (including licensing, consents, promotion, rate relief)

·         Access to business membership and networking organisations (useful contacts on social media marketing, e-commerce, professional advice etc.)

For all enquiries or expression of interest in obtaining a grant, please contact