Builders who want to take advantage of a subsidy to build on brownfield sites can apply to the government from today.

The multi-million pound Island Infrastructure Scheme has opened following approval by Tynwald in December 2022.

The scheme aims to stimulate the development of privately-owned brownfield sites which are included on the Unoccupied Urban Sites Register.

Brownfield sites are usually sites that were once developed in an urban area but are now empty.

They are usually more expensive to develop than greenfield sites – often former farmland.

The scheme has been designed to support the development of sites that have remained empty, or under-utilised, for some time by providing financial support to offset the additional costs faced when redeveloping sites of this nature, with the ‘ultimate aim of unlocking economic and social value currently unrealised across these sites’.

The scheme is able to provide financial assistance of up to 25% of eligible expenditure to developers, by way of a grant and/or loan towards development projects which meet set criteria.

Lawrie Hooper MHK, Minister for Enterprise, said: ‘This administration has made a clear commitment to confronting the challenge of redundant brownfield sites and accelerating broader urban regeneration which stimulates significant private sector investment.

‘The Island Infrastructure Scheme intends to do just this, starting initially with those sites that have been identified on the Unoccupied Urban Sites Register, encouraging developers to bring forward proposals to redevelop these sites and reduce the risk of them laying fallow for another decade or more.

‘As I made clear when requesting approval from Tynwald in December, proposals will only be supported if they meet the requirements set out through the Scheme to maximise economic outcomes and positive accelerated regeneration to ultimately help the Island move towards a more secure, vibrant and sustainable future for residents and businesses.’

The first round of applications will run from January 3 to April 2, with applications prioritised and awarded on an assessment criteria which will take into account direct and indirect economic benefit together with social and public realm benefits.

Additionally, in line with the government’s economic strategy, applications will also be assessed on the basis of the level of private sector investment leveraged by any support provided through the scheme.

More information about the scheme, and a link to apply, can be found by clicking here.