A recent announcement has revealed the total funding available to businesses in Northumberland which have been adversely hit by this year’s rates revaluation.
In his first Spring Budget, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a £300million discretionary fund for businesses hit badly by the business rates shake-up.
The Government published a consultation, which closed last month, on how this relief fund should be divided up and how local authorities could exercise discretion in granting relief.
However, last weekend, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) confirmed that ‘the Government has considered the responses to the consultation on the scheme announced at Spring Budget 2017 for discretionary business rates relief and determined that final allocations to local authorities will be made according to the draft allocations published as part of the consultation’.
This means that ‘councils are free to start using the scheme and helping local businesses’.
This announcement paves the way for £1.651million to Northumberland County Council for distribution to businesses in the county facing huge hikes in rates, spread out as follows across the next four years under the new revaluation: £963,000 in 2017/18; £468,000 in 2018/19; £193,000 in 2019/20; £28,000 in 2020/2021.
Mark Rigby, chief executive of CVS Business Rent & Rates Specialists, said: “I am heartened that DCLG has sought to clarify its stance over this important and much-needed initiative and I would now urge Northumberland County Council to expedite the distribution of this relief to those firms hardest hit by the revaluation.
“Business-rates bills have already been sent out and the first tax instalment has been collected, so it’s vital that available relief is granted to those who need it as urgently as possible.”
A DCLG spokesman said: “Councils should establish their own schemes to distribute funds to local firms and can claim the funding from DCLG as soon as their schemes are up and running.”
Businesses can check their own tateable Value and rates bills themselves, using the CVS Calculator at www.cvsuk.com