Apply for Town Catalyst Retail Incubator

Here's everything you need to know to submit an application

How to apply

We need to know all about your business. Is it up and running or just an idea right now? Tell us what you plan to sell or what service you plan to offer. Why do you believe your business will succeed?

Information for potential candidates

Candidates can be any existing or new business (new to the town being applied for) and can be any privately owned form, for example: Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited company. The business must be a retail business or retail service business and candidates should show a reasonable knowledge of the business and the local market. Applicants should also be able to begin trading at the commencement date (i.e. have stock in hand in time for the project start).

Benefits for successful applicants

There are a number of financial and promotional benefits to being on the Town Catalyst scheme:

  • - Subsidised rent and bills for the 6 month period.
  • - Training workshops provided by Business Gateway.
  • - Monthly business health check by qualified accountant.
  • - Advertising of business via Town Catalyst.
  • - Advertising via Business Gateway.


In order to apply you must agree to commit to the six months minimum incubation period. You must also consent to the following information being collected and used by Town Catalyst CIC for future funding and promotion of project:

  • - Financial Report monthly produced by accountant.
  • - Case Study of business.
  • - Feedback from customers – gathered via website.
  • - Feedback from neighbouring retailers about impact – gathered via DTA (Dunbar Trades Association).
  • - Provide feedback of project to CIC for use – email or interview by CIC.


All applications to Town Catalyst CIC should include the following information:

  • - Your name, address, phone, and email.
  • - Business type: Online, startup, or existing business.
  • - Business name.
  • - Brief description of the business.
  • - Your previous business experience.
  • - How will your business help the town centre?

This information will be used to determine eligibility and also passed to the Business Gateway and Dunbar Trades Association to access competition guidelines for project. If little or no competition exists locally then the candidate may be shortlisted and move to the next stage. Successful candidates will be interviewed by Town Catalyst CIC, who will make final decisions. By applying there is no guarantee you will reach the interview stage. Due to the volume of applications, individual feedback may not always be available.

Submit your application

Business plan

If you reach the interview stage, then we may ask for a more complete business plan. For an explanation of what a business plan should include, with examples, check out the Business Gateway website.