The Upper Hutt City Council encourages start-ups, assists the relocation and fit-out process, strengthens earthquake prone buildings, and supports the expansion of existing businesses, all of which support the employment of our residents. We also endeavour to make things easier for businesses based in Upper Hutt. We have dedicated Economic Development Manager who liaises with businesses across all sectors. We do our best to keep our processes simple and offer businesses financial assistance in times of change.

Financial assistance from our Council is through Business Development Grants. These are awarded to new and existing businesses that meet certain criteria.

These grants include:

  • Reduction and remission of rates;
  • Building and resource consent fee waivers;
  • Retro-fit and relocation grants;
  • Earthquake strengthening grants.

Rates remissions and reduction

For new developments and building conversions that will not generate an income stream whilst construction is taking place, Council may provide a grant to cover the relevant property rates requirement. The grant would cover rates for the duration of the construction, with a maximum of one year.

A reduction on rates – for a maximum of three years following the revaluation of the developed property, for all developments and conversions that meet the criteria set by the Rates Remission Policy for Economic Development.

Fee waivers

Council may waive building and resource consent charges on commercial and/or industrial developments that involve the construction, erection or conversion of any building(s) intended to be used for industrial, commercial or administrative purposes. It is expected that in doing so would create additional new full-time equivalent jobs.1

Council may also waive building and resource consent charges on all new and/or renovated developments in the city centre that have a mix of retail/commercial space and high density residential apartments.

Earthquake strengthening grants

Council may provide a grant of up to 10% of the value of earthquake strengthening work, up to a maximum amount of $15,000.

Successful applicants for this grant will also be entitled to have the related building consent fee waived.

Retro-fit grants

Council may provide one of the following financial incentives (for one year only) to retro-fit existing buildings:

Exterior retail/commercial façade improvements (within the city centre). For exterior storefront improvements (visible from the street or footpath only) with a value of over $5,000, Council will contribute $2,500.

Commercial property retro-fits (within the city centre) with a total cost over $40,000 in value, Council will contribute a maximum of $10,000.

Commercial property retro-fits (within the city centre) with a total cost over $70,000 in value, Council will contribute a maximum of $30,000.

Commercial property retro-fits (small) – city wide. For small to medium retro-fits with a total cost over $70,000 in value, Council will contribute a maximum of $10,000.

Commercial property retro-fits (medium) – city wide. For businesses retro-fitting an existing site, which will employ between 10 and 30 FTEs (existing or new tenancy contract signed), Council will contribute a maximum of $20,000.

Commercial property retro-fits (large) – city wide. For businesses retro-fitting an existing site, which will employ over 30 FTE’s (existing or new tenancy contract signed) or they are a significant retail store2, Council will contribute a maximum of $50,000.

Relocation and new building grants

Small relocations – Council may contribute $5,000 or 50% of the total cost (whichever is lessor) towards relocation costs for businesses that are not already located in Upper Hutt and employ between 3 and 10 FTEs (and have signed a tenancy contract).

Medium relocations – Council may contribute $15,000 or 50% of the total cost (whichever is lessor) towards relocation costs for businesses that are not already located in Upper Hutt and employ between 10 – 30 FTE’s (and have signed a tenancy contract).

Large relocations – Council may contribute $30,000 or 50% of the total cost (whichever is lessor) towards relocation costs for businesses that are not already located in Upper Hutt and employ over 30 FTE’s (and have signed a tenancy contract) or they are a significant retail store2.

New commercial/industrial building construction with a total construction cost over $750,000 (as evidenced by quotes and corresponding invoices), Council will contribute $30,000 towards the build. Prior to Council approval, any business applying for this grant must employ more than 5 FTEs and provide proof of a signed tenancy/lease agreement for a period of not less than two years.

Read the policy and apply for a grant

Click here to view/download the Economic Development Stimulus Policy (PDF 119 KB)

Click here to view/download the Business Development Grant Application Form (PDF 359 KB)

To find out more about these Business Development Grants and to see if your business meets the criteria, please contact Stuart Grant, our Economic Development Manager.

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Last updated on 29 Aug 2018