Business rates aid for South Holland area disclosed

South Holland District Council offices in Spalding.  Photo: SG290114-223NG.
South Holland District Council offices in Spalding. Photo: SG290114-223NG.

A £295,000 scheme to help South Holland firms cope with business rate rises over the next four years has been unveiled.

The “Locally Administered Business Rates Relief Scheme” will see bill increases capped at £600 for premises with a rateable value of £100,000 or less.

South Holland District Council cabinet members are to decide whether to back the scheme on Tuesday, with the full council voting on it at a meeting on Wednesday.

Cash for the scheme has come from a £300 million fund announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond as part of the Spring Budget in March.

Last December, it emerged that some businesses in Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge were facing a near doubling in business rates after a revaluation that took effect from April 1 this year.

Speaking to the Spalding Guardian last December, David Wilson, of Long Sutton estate agents Geoffrey Collings and Co., said: “Around 45 per cent of the businesses in Long Sutton town centre will be faced with a significant increase in their business rates over the coming years, along with several businesses in Sutton Bridge.

“Unless the Valuation Office Agency (the Government body responsible for business rate valuations) can be persuaded to take a fresh look at its proposal to almost double the rateable value of many of the business premises in Long Sutton, the viability and vitality of the town centre could be compromised.”

Under the district council’s scheme, just over 100 South Holland businesses would be given rates relief of between £50 and £5,000.

A report prepared for Tuesday’s cabinet meeting said: “Funding has been allocated on the basis of how many properties in the local authority area with a rateable value under £200,000 were subject to increases of more than 12.5 per cent before other reliefs (small business rate, rural rate or charitable rate relief).

“Qualifying ratepayers will be advised that due to the reducing funding year by year, the extent of relief awarded in 2017/18 will not continue in future years.

“Therefore, businesses need to prepare and budget for higher rates bills and less rate relief from 2018/19.

“However, it is anticipated that some businesses fall out of eligibility under state aid rules and through changes in circumstances, reducing the level of initial expenditure.”

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