Business grants

Start-up grant

​​​To help boost business and create more vibrant town centres in the Rochdale borough, we’re offering a big benefit to new independent retailers opening in selected empty units.

Whether you’re setting up in business for the first time, trading outside the town centre and looking for a high street base, or thinking of expanding, there’s never been a better time to bring your business to the borough of Rochdale.

Using your grant

You can use the start-up grant for new doors, windows and signage, as well as other permanent work such as internal improvements. 

The grants cover 50% of the cost of the work, with grants of up to £5,000 available. ​​

Properties​ available

​​The start-up grants apply to selected empty properties in the following areas:


  • Yorkshire Street up to John Street
  • The Walk
  • Parts of Baillie Street
  • South Parade
  • Cheetham Street
  • Union Street
  • St Mary's Gate


  • Market Place
  • Market Street
  • Parts of Bridge Street


  • Parts of Long Street
  • Parts of Wood Street
  • Middleton Gardens

View scheme boundary maps


We’ve launched the scheme to reduce the number of empty shops in our key town centres and improve the quality of the shopping experience in the borough of Rochdale.

Applications must be submitted before the new business has opened. Any money spent or committed to be spent before a grant is approved will not be eligible to be covered by the grant.

We’re particularly interested in hearing from the following types of businesses:

  • Cafes, restaurants and coffee shops
  • Clothes shops
  • Shops selling food and drink
  • ​Home and garden shops
  • Travel shops
  • Specialist shops
  • Health and beauty shops
  • Finance, banking, solicitors and professional services ​- in selected areas in Rochdale


​​The following businesses are excluded from the scheme:

  • Charity shops
  • Pawnbrokers and cash generator shops
  • Mobile phone shops
  • Off licences and newsagents​
  • E-cig shops
  • Pubs, bars and clubs
  • Pound shops
  • Taxi offices
  • Adult shops
  • Takeaways​


To apply for a start-up grant, complete an application return and return it to us using the details listed on the form.

Please read the guidance notes carefully before you apply.

Guidance notes and application form for a start-up grant

Success story

"I started looking at venues and was initially interested in a site in Droylsden, but this shop was a bigger unit, the location is really bustling and busy and the numbers worked much better, with the business rates sale.

"I think this initiative is great for the high street. There is no other bridal shop in Heywood, so we're bringing something totally new to the area"

- Kerry Russell, owner of Lavinia Rose Bridal, Market Place, Heywood.

Find out more

Please get in touch if you've got any questions - for example, about whether an empty unit is eligible for either of the schemes or how to complete the application forms.