Stuart Hicks

Tax relief helping retailers

Thousands of retailers across the North West are benefitting from the new Government £1,000 business rates discount, six months after the new relief was introduced.

More than 27,000 retail premises across the region are getting the business rates windfall, which was introduced in April this year. Around 300,000 premises nationally are set to receive the discount – making the North West's share around 9%.

Six months after it was introduced the £1,000 business rates discount for local shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs, up to a rateable value of £50,000, is estimated to be giving nearly 300,000 premises more than £272m of tax relief this year.

Figures show the support is spread across the country including North West hubs where retail premises – 3,290 in Manchester, 2,000 in Salford and 1,270 in Bolton for example – are all receiving the £1,000 claw back.

High streets minister Penny Mordaunt said the retail discount was the centre of a wider £1bn package of targeted tax breaks to support the high street.

Stuart Hicks, managing director and rating director of Dunlop Heywood Property Consultants in Manchester, added: "The North West overall has fared okay with the major conurbations all enjoying significant numbers of businesses receiving the hand-out. However, when you look at the size of the region compared to others and the south east in particular, then 9% of the overall total doesn't seem very much.

"It is interesting to see somewhere like well-to-do Kensington and Chelsea has 1,760 retail premises gaining the allowance, compared to Rochdale at 800 and Burnley at 430 – so combined they don't match this small London borough.

"Likewise, you have Epping Forest on the outskirts of London, which is over 90% greenbelt, having 750 premises included, compared to St Helens with 580. I would like to see more North West retail landlords making the most of this opportunity so the money can be injected into the regional economy overall through a stronger retail sector."

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