Grants and Assistance

This page outlines some of the key assistance available to local businesses and community organisations to help develop business, ideas and promote investment in Bathgate Town Centre.

Business Gateway Logo

West Lothian’s Business Gateway team deliver a full range of services designed to meet the needs of all those wishing to start a new business, grow a business or relocate in West Lothian.

We can offer help and assistance including:

  • Advice on developing a business plan.
  • Advice about financing your business.
  • All the information you need, including statistics, market research and help to find business premises in West Lothian from our Business Information Service.
  • Free Business Factsheets on running a business, sales, marketing, finance and tax.
  • Workshops & Seminars including marketing, social media and recruitment.

Business Gateway works closely with Youth Business Scotland  providing additional support, including grants & loans for young people aged between 18 and 26 who want to start a business.

Advisers at Business Gateway West Lothian are well versed in the eligibility criteria for many of the schemes of financial assistance currently on offer to companies based in or relocating to West Lothian. They can help you search for grants and other funds which are appropriate to your business, and have a proven track record in helping companies to access these funds. There are also a number of other products available in West Lothian included in our Business Grants and Loans Guide.

Our services are free, easily accessible and our staff are friendly and impartial.

You can visit our offices at 4 Greendykes Road, Broxburn or

West Lothian Connected, 16a The Centre, Livingston.

We also have appointments available in Linlithgow, Armadale, Whitburn, Fauldhouse and Bathgate.

Call us now on 01506 777400

or e-mail bgateway@westlothian.gov.uk

West Lothian Council Logo

The Small Business Bonus Scheme

This scheme is designed to assist smaller businesses who use or are entitled to use non-domestic properties with a combined rateable value of £35,000 or less per annum, and who may be entitled to a reduction in their annual non-domestic rates bill.

For example, if the combined rateable value of any properties held in Scotland is £10,000 or less you may be eligible for a 100% reduction in your rates; and if the combined rateable value is between say £18,001 and £35,000 you may be eligible for a 25% reduction.

Further detail can be found on the West Lothian Council website, and you will be asked by Council to fill in an application form. It should be noted that if you receive a reduction in rates the local authority will review this regularly.

Click here for more details: http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/3665/Small-Business-Bonus-Scheme

The Fresh Start

The Fresh Start relief scheme is aimed at providing 50% relief for 12 months for certain properties that become occupied, that have a rateable value of up to £65,000 and have been unoccupied for a continuous period of at least 12 months. The range of commercial properties covered by the scheme include: shops, offices, hotels, public houses, and restaurants. To apply and further information please click: http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/3670/Fresh-Start-Relief

Empty Rates Relief Scheme

There is an empty rates relief scheme in operation, whereby if your commercial property is left empty you will not owe any rates for the first three months. If following this period the property remains empty you will be required, as from 1 April 2013, to start paying empty property rates charged at 90% of the bill. The person or company entitled to use the property will have to pay the bill.

There are, however, some circumstances where a charge of empty property rates does not apply, for example: industrial properties (you must fill in a short questionnaire to see if your property qualifies); and those properties with a rateable value of less than £1,700. Before any award of any reduction is made by the local authority, arrangements will be required to visit the property to check it is empty.

Further detail and applications can be accessed from: http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/3669/Empty-rates

Charitable and Discretionary Relief

If your organisation is a registered charity in Scotland, then a mandatory relief of 80% will be applied to your rates.

The local authority will then decide whether you as an applicant have to pay part of, or the rest of the other 20%. The local authority may grant relief of up to 100% to certain other organisations who, although not registered charities, were not set up to make a profit. There is also a discretionary relief scheme running from 1 April 2015 and further detailed explanation and information can be obtained from the local authority.

If you wish to seek to take advantage of this reduction please click on: http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/3667/Charitable-and-discretionary-relief