Independent Retailer Grant

As part of the Council's strategy to support Andover and Romsey town centres, an Independent Retailer Grant of £1,000 is available to encourage independently-owned retailers to take up vacant space.

The £1,000 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 and Secondary Shopping Areas of the towns

  • Use Classes E(a) (Shops) and E(b) (Restaurants and Cafés)

  • Dependent on all other relevant Council consents (e.g. planning permission, other licences etc.).

  • You should apply for the grant BEFORE you move in.

  • 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

  • Other Class E (Classes E(ci/ii/iii), E(d), E(e), E(f) and E(gi/ii/iii) uses and Sui Generis uses

  • Charity shops

  • Businesses already in receipt of the Business Incentive Grant.

The grant is managed by the Economic Development Officer and signed off by the Head of Finance and Economic Development and Tourism Portfolio Holder.

Payment is staged, £500 after 3 months and £500 after 9 months.

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