Borough Council to Lead Business Rates Pilot Scheme that will Bring £9million Boost to Lancashire

Published Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Ribble Valley Borough Council is to lead a Business Rates Pilot Scheme that will bring a £9million boost to Lancashire.

The pilot scheme will see 11 borough councils, two unitary authorities, the county council and fire authority keep 75 per cent of growth in business rates and work together to deliver economic growth.

It will help to provide financial stability to the 15 participants and more funding to invest in services at a time when local authority budgets are under intense pressure.

It will also increase resources to target strategic economic growth across Lancashire.

The councils involved in the pilot scheme have a combined collectible rate income of over £360million.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Ken Hind said: “We have much to gain from this scheme and are delighted to be leading on it.

“We have set a course for growth and this pilot scheme means our efforts to encourage more businesses, more jobs and more prosperity in the borough will pay dividends, as we will all be able to share in the pooled rewards. 

“I would like to pay tribute to Lancashire finance officers for putting the successful bid together, which should bring an extra £9million in business rates growth to the county. 

“This is an excellent example of partnership working between the 15 authorities concerned for the benefit of our communities.”

The pilot starts on April 1 2019 and will test whether full retention of business rates can be rolled out nationally.

The Government’s aim is for all local authorities to retain 75 per cent of business rates by 2020-21.

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, such as shops, offices, pubs, factories, holiday rental homes or guest houses, with levels set by the Valuation Agency.

The following councils are taking part in the pilot: Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre, along with Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority.

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