In the coming months, municipalities will be able to apply for a grant from the government to renovate properties in shopping centers or to install new buildings. For example, the government wants to prevent people from almost never going to a physical store because of online shopping. A total of 100 million euros will be allocated to this programme.
Because we buy clothes or furniture online even more often since the corona crisis, we go to brick stores much less often. In recent years, this has led to more bankruptcies and therefore vacancy in shopping centers. “The vacancy can again lead to the deterioration of commercial areas. Fine shopping will then no longer be possible”, says Minister Micky Adriaansens (Economic Affairs). “City centers thus become less livable and less attractive. We want to tackle this.”
The cabinet will allocate an amount of 100 million euros in four rounds, which the municipalities will be able to claim. For the first round, which will last until the end of this month, 22 million euros will be made available. The money can be used for renovation, demolition or new construction or the construction of, for example, parks in commercial areas.
Municipalities wishing to use the grant must submit a project plan. They must work with a private party, such as a store owner or construction company. Projects are assessed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and an advisory committee determines which project will receive funding and how much.