Hamburg launches funding scheme for use of vacant spaces

Scheme to benefit creative and cultural sector
01 July 2021

The senate announced Wednesday (June 30, 2021) a new EUR 9 million scheme allowing the creative cultural and creative sector to use vacant retail spaces at favourable conditions temporarily. Hopes are now high that the scheme, which lasts unti late 2022 initially, will increase the attractiveness of various districts and raise the visibility of artists' works and offers. Applications for grants can be submitted on: from mid-July. 

Interim use to become standard for vacancies

"Hamburg has very quickly created a tool in the so-called 'Frei_Fläche’ scheme to develop and try out prototypes for the transformation of inner cities now being discussed everywhere. Interim uses should become the new standard for retail vacancies," said Egbert Rühl, Managing Director of Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, which manages the scheme in co-operation with the Landesbetrieb Immobilienmanagement und Grundvermögen (LIG) 

Scheme to ease use of vacant spaces

A significant number of vacancies and shop closures have occurred in the city centre and in the main parts of suburbs partly due to the pandemic, said Andreas Dressel, Senator for Finance, adding: "No-one likes empty shop windows - neither  the owners, trade nearby nor customers." Art exhibitions or pop-up stores, for instance, will in future liven up the empty shops temporarily at a cost of only EUR 1.50 euros per square metre, per month, the senate said.