A new grant scheme will offer up to £75,000 to encourage property owners to restore unoccupied flats and unused spaces above shops.

The Allerdale council grant is part of the Maryport Residential Conversion Scheme (MRCS), was launched this week. It aims to help the owners of eligible properties carry out high-quality repair and restoration works that bring unoccupied first floor (or above) floorspace into use for residential purposes.

Grants will be offered to owners of eligible properties to help cover the cost of approved renovation works. Based on the maximum grant available per property, a minimum of 15 properties will be brought back into use for residential purposes as a result of the scheme.

Properties eligible to make an application for funding must be located within the MRCS area, which covers sections of Senhouse Street, Crosby Street and Curzon Street, with the full map available on the council’s website. They must be classed as unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for tax purposes.

Eligible properties must also have independent access from the ground floor or see this created as part of the grant-funded works.

Full details of the scheme and eligibility criteria can be found on the council’s website.

Typically, grant funding will be offered at a rate of 80 per cent of eligible costs, however, each application will be assessed on its own merits and significance, with all offers of grant assistance made at the discretion of Allerdale Borough Council.

Allerdale leader Councillor Mike Johnson said: “We would like to encourage anyone who owns an eligible property within the scheme area to contact us and apply to make use of the grant.

“The scheme is all part of our commitment to improve residential spaces within the centre of Maryport by restoring old buildings and bringing them back into use, which will ultimately contribute to a thriving local community.”

To apply for the scheme, applicants are advised to check the eligibility criteria in full and apply at https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/maryport/maryport-residential-conversion-scheme/ before midnight on Sunday, May 1.

Applicants will have to register with the MyAllerdale online portal to apply. Anyone with questions about the scheme should contact joe.broomfield@allerdale.gov.uk.