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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

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Rate relief to be offered to retail shops in South Lakes

A scheme to offer rate relief to tackle the issue of empty retail shop units has been adopted by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

The government announced in its Autumn Statement it would provide 50 per cent Business Rate relief for 18 months to businesses moving in to previously empty shops, to help stimulate high streets and support new business start-ups.

The units must have been empty for 12 months or longer immediately before becoming re-occupied, and the new business must move in before the end of the scheme in March 2016.

SLDC’s Cabinet agreed on Wednesday to adopt the Business Rates Re-occupation Relief Scheme.

The council will look to grant the relief to qualifying ratepayers applying under the scheme, and central government will fully reimburse SLDC for the cost to the council.

Council officers will now work to list the number of properties in the district that would qualify for the rate relief.

The new use of the re-occupied premises can be for any type of business, except for betting shops, payday loan shops and pawnbrokers.

The initiative links to SLDC priorities to work in partnership with town and parish councils and local businesses to develop plans to address issues of empty shops and empty properties above shops.

Anyone who would like to discuss the Business Rates Reoccupation Relief Scheme can speak to an officer at SLDC on 01539 793245.

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