Immediate action programme for the city centre

The initial situation

Our inner cities are of particular importance for urban development. In order to strengthen the survival and preservation of our traditional city centres during and after the Corona crisis, the NRW state government has launched the Immediate City Centre Programme.

The structural change in the stationary retail trade, which has been the focus of attention for some time and which has been exacerbated by the Corona pandemic, urgently needs help! The increasing number of chain stores, the shift of shopping to online business and now also the pandemic are leading to more and more vacancies. The attractiveness of the centres is dwindling and a downward spiral may be set in motion.

The idea

The immediate inner city programme now gives new concepts the opportunity to settle in locations that were previously unaffordable for start-ups. In the direct city centre!

Through a subsidized rent of up to 80% of the old rent, exciting retail concepts, pop-up stores, start-ups and restaurateurs or service providers can now rent in the vacancies. The eligible size of the shop is limited to 300 m². The project will run until 31.12.2022.

The goal

We want to make it possible for new and young concepts to try out locations that are otherwise unaffordable. The aim is to enable success and to be able to keep the entrepreneurs at the location even after the end of the inner city emergency programme. Furthermore, the reduction of vacancies is another important goal.

Application procedure & requirements

The application procedure

Applications can be submitted immediately. A jury will decide who will move into the available shop premises and with which concept. It is also possible to combine several concepts - the eligible size of the shop is limited to 300 m².


The requirements

  • It must not be a relocation of a business already located in the city centre.
  • Only companies/persons registered as businesses will be considered.
  • Preference will be given to concepts that increase pedestrian frequency.
  • Allowed are concepts

from the retail sector (including start-ups or pop-up stores)

Gastronomy concepts

Service concepts with public traffic

Farm shops (for the sale of regional agricultural products)

Showrooms (also for online concepts)

Cultural uses with public traffic (e.g. studios)

Concepts that promote civic and/or neighbourly involvement (e.g. RepairCafes)

Further future-oriented concepts