Country: Limerick, Ireland
Creative Limerick - Connect to the Grid, is coordinated by the Economic Development Department (at Limerick City Council) in partnership with the third level colleges, creative industries, commercial property owners and their agents operating in Limerick City. This project seeks to enhance vibrancy and active frontages in Limerick City Centre and to provide active uses for vacant properties while promoting the work of the Creative Industries in our region.
Pictures courtesy of Paul Tarpey and Limerick County Council
Key points of Creative Limerick
- Creative Limerick - Connect to the Grid provides for temporary occupancy of vacant retail units while they are between commercial lettings.
- This temporary occupancy is provided cost free by the landlord to the temporary occupant. A €250 deposit is required upfront and will be returned to the temporary occupant at the end of the lease agreement. This is subject to meeting the criteria contained in the lease agreement.
- The temporary occupancy provides an opportunity for creative practitioners and other start up businesses to start a potential new business on a rent free/trial basis with low to negligible cost overheads.
- Limerick City Council’s role is to facilitate the bringing together of the landlord and the temporary occupant and arrange for the management and regulation of this relationship through a standard license agreement which is drawn up by our law agent and ensures that there is no risk to either party.
- The landlord can continue to advertise the space for re-letting while it is occupied by the Creative practitioner.
- Should the landlord obtain a rent paying tenant the property will be immediately vacated by the Creative practitioner.
The main aims
- Reduce the visual impact of vacant property within Limerick City Centre.
- Increase footfall and attract additional visitors to the city centre by providing a new range of exciting businesses, activities and exhibitions.
- Generate publicity for Limerick City Centre.
- Offer free spaces (subject to payment of utility bills) for creative practitioners/temporary occupants/local business entrepreneurs to try out new ideas and/or reach new audiences.
- Showcase vacant properties to potential tenants to help them be re-let.
- Provide opportunity for new start-up businesses to establish themselves as a possible rent paying tenant in the future.
What can the space be used for?
One of the main aims of Creative Limerick is to offer creative practitioners/ temporary occupants/ local business entrepreneur’s free retail and exhibition spaces within Limerick City. The only exception to this aim is activities which would contravene planning and licensing regulations or are in conflict with Council objectives. The Creative Limerick initiative was designed to compliment existing and established businesses within Limerick City.
What’s in it for the landlords?
1. Improved appearance of vacant property/ Continuous up-keep of property Creative Limerick – Connect to the Grid provides that the temporary occupant will keep the premises clean, tidy, free from fly-posting and will ensure an active and engaging shop front thereby improving the properties potential for re-letting. In addition it will ensure that the property does not become a potential Derelict Site.
2. Complete Protection in a legally binding License Agreement Limerick City Council puts a standard license agreement in place that is signed by the landlord, the tenant and Limerick City Council. The landlord maintains their structural and fire insurance and this agreement protects the landlord against all expense, costs and losses from any damage that should arise in the premises while the landlord is participating in the scheme. Limerick City Council also indemnifies the landlord against all expense arising from injury to the occupant or the general public while on the premises.
3. Help local start up businesses Creative Limerick is currently being expanded to allow for local indigenous businesses to open pop up shops for a period of three to six months. This will give local businesses a chance to test the long term viability of their product with the public. The landlord is contributing to the growth of the local economy and helping to create potential tenants for the property in the future.
Links and sources
For further details on Creative Limerick, click here