Utilise Unused Building Space

It's becoming clear that bars and restaurants will be difficult to re-open. They'll need to re-arrange their seating to accommodate social distancing for an unknown period of time into the future. Having a bar or restaurant at potentially 30-50% of its usual capacity would not allow for an economically viable business.

Many of our bars and restaurants are sited in city centre areas, where many buildings above the ground floor lie vacant. This has become more prevalent in recent years as the number of occupied units has reduced in light of several retail business failures.

If bars and restaurants were given support to purchase adjacent (or upper) properties and amend their layout to suit social distancing, this utilisation of unused building space could rejuvinate our city centres while saving these businesses and allowing the population to socialise safely.

Why the contribution is important

It's likely that when the lockdown comes to an end the Government will be looking to end support for businesses through the furlough scheme. When this ends, businesses need to be viable to survive. A one-time grant to help purchase upstairs space or adjacent units and renovate them to new social distancing guidelines would ensure businesses remain viable, thus saving the local economy while at the same time breathing new life into city and town centres.

by TheDancingDino on May 05, 2020 at 02:25PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.0
Based on: 4 votes


  • Posted by Donald May 05, 2020 at 14:31

    This is only a business decision, not public money.
  • Posted by katey May 05, 2020 at 14:35

    Could be used for homeless care centre
  • Posted by emartinedinburgh May 05, 2020 at 14:36

    I would give this idea qualified support. Would prefer loans for purchase of adjacent/upper premises rather then "grants" as some businesses would take advantage of this to enlarge their premises, when they are not in real need of financial help from the Government. They would be less likely to do so if they had to pay the money back.
  • Posted by Boblidd May 05, 2020 at 14:39

    Empty buildings in town centres should be used to house the homeless to help the spreading of the virus especially if more people return to work also they could also be used for testing centres that people can travel to if they don't drive etc
  • Posted by TheDancingDino May 05, 2020 at 14:59

    Response to Donald:

    I was suggesting the use of public money, to ensure businesses remain viable. A business surely cannot make this decision if they don't have the cash (or access to credit) to do so because they're not viable? Particularly if the reason they're no longer viable is that they have to implement measures that would make all similar businesses also non-viable? It's long-term planning: short-term public money for long-term economic good. Yes, we won't see the money back in public purse for many years through taxation, but surely it's better than a long-term economic loss because we've lost all those jobs?

  • Posted by Boblidd May 05, 2020 at 16:05

    TheDancingDino the problem with your idea is most shops are owned by Landlords!
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