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New Business Rates Incentive Scheme


The New Business Rates Incentive Scheme will provide a grant on commercial rates for the first two years of a new business when it re-occupies a property that has been vacant for a long period of time. Wicklow County Council wants to encourage thriving and diverse business centre’s and wants to see the number of vacant retail/ commercial properties decrease. This grant is intended to incentivise and encourage reoccupation of vacant retail/commercial properties.

Objectives of Scheme


  • To reduce the number of vacant properties in County Wicklow.
  • To encourage new commercial ventures.
  • To assist in job creation and ongoing employment.
  • To provide rates income to Wicklow County Council that otherwise may be written off
  • To facilitate the development of commercial activity, with the aim of helping to enhance the vitality, vibrancy and the economic welfare of the County.
  • To demonstrate the Council’s commitment to the economic development and regeneration of County Wicklow.



The Scheme will be available to:

  • a newly established business
  • an existing business relocating or expanding from outside the County
  • an existing business maintaining current location and expanding into a new location and evidence must be produced confirming this.

The Scheme commences from the 1st of January 2020 and is only applicable to commercial properties that have been vacant for at least 12 calendar months prior to occupation.  

The following prerequisites apply to the subject premises:

  • There are no outstanding enforcement proceedings or monies due to the Council under the Planning & Development Acts 2000-2014 or the Derelict Sites Act 1990.
  • There are no outstanding or current commercial rates, or any other local authority charges owing on the subject premises.
  • There are no outstanding or current commercial rates, or any other local authority charges owed by the applicant.

The qualifying uses under this scheme are shops, offices, commercial and industrial businesses.

Conditions to the above include the following:

The proposed use is in accordance with existing planning permission on the premises.

The following types of businesses will be excluded from the scheme:

  • fast food outlets
  • arcades
  • bookmakers
  • nightclubs
  • private member’s clubs
  • head shops
  • money lenders (except recognised financial institutions)

The Council may at its discretion allow any of the above uses where, in its opinion, there may be a specific local need for that type of premises. This list is not exhaustive and Wicklow County Council reserve the right refuse or grant any application.

Wicklow County Council will review each applicant to determine potential for displacement of existing businesses and will make a judgement on eligibility to join the scheme accordingly.

All applications will be subject to review by Wicklow County Council and any award or otherwise will be at the Councils discretion.

Qualifying Applicants

The following requirements apply to all applicants:

  • The applicant must be the owner or lessee of the subject premises.
  • The applicant must sign up for Standing Order payments of commercial rates for at least 12 months and any other charges due to the Council.
  • The application must be accompanied by a lease agreement (if applicable) OR a copy of the Land Registry entry showing ownership details.
  • Failure to remain current on any charges including any outstanding charges on the property and/or applicant will result in the immediate cessation of the Scheme and the removal of supports.
  • The applicant must make the council aware of any changes to the uses or any of the requirements stated above for the applicant which materially alter the original application.

Scheme Criteria

  • 2 Year Incentivised Scheme
  • 50% reduction in rates liability in Year 1, 25% reduction in Year 2, Full rates are due for payment in Year 3
  • The unit must be rated
  • Applicants who avail of this scheme will not be affected by cessation or revision of this scheme
  • Applicable to premises which have an annual rates liability of no more than €20,000 per annum


Year 1 Example

Net Annual Value                     €50,000

Multiplier                                    X 0.217

Rates Liability For 2024           €10,850

Less 50% Scheme Reduction €5,425

Year 2 Example

Net Annual Value                     €50,000

Multiplier                                    X 0.217

Rates Liability For 2024           €10,850

Less 25% Scheme Reduction €8,137.50

Year 3 Example

Net Annual Value                     €50,000

Multiplier                                    X 0.217

Rates Liability For 2024           €10,850

0% Scheme Reduction              €10,850