George Osborne Manchester tram

Budget 2015: Rates deal for Manchester and Cheshire East

Greater Manchester and Cheshire East are to pilot the full retention of business rates growth from 1 April 2015, according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborn's Budget speech.

Under current arrangements, 50% of business rates growth income is retained locally and 50% returned to central government.

The announcement was part of Osborne's final Budget before the general election in May.

He said: "The North West has the fastest employment growth in the country, and has created 117,000 jobs over the last year alone. This Budget builds on the long term economic plan for the North West that I set out in January, which aims to add an extra £18bn to the local economy, create another 100,000 extra jobs and invest £4.5bn in better transport.

"This is a Budget for a truly national recovery. We are investing in better transport for the North West to join up the north, supporting the North West's strengths in health science and tech, backing innovative businesses by extending enterprise zones at Manchester and Mersey Waters, and creating a new Enterprise Zone for Blackpool.

"Following the ground-breaking devolution deal for Greater Manchester, we have reached provisional agreement to allow Greater Manchester and Cheshire East to keep 100% of the additional growth in local business rates as we build up the Northern Powerhouse. For where cities grow their economies through local initiatives – let me be clear – we will support and reward them.

"This Budget marks another milestone in our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse, and our plan is working for people in the North West. We mustn't turn back now."

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