Business rates support has now spread to 300,000 premises across the UK according to new High Streets Minister Penny Mordaunt.
In her first major speech since her appointment in July Mordaunt said the £1,000 business rates discount that was introduced six months ago for local shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs (up to a rateable value of £50,000) has given retailers £272 million of tax relief.
Speaking at the annual high street retailers conference by the British Council of Shopping Centres, the minister said the retail discount was the centre piece of a wider one billion pound package of targeted tax break support for the high street.
“We must help all respond to the needs and wants of the consumer so the high streets remains at the heart of our communities, more than simply places to shop. We announced the biggest package of business rates support in over 20 years to support local shops, pubs, cafes, and restaurants. Overall, this is worth £1 billion to business with half of that backing high street shop and retailers in England.”
Tom Meager, director of property for Primark and president of the British Council of Shopping Centres said the announcement was “confirmation” of the government’s commitment to regenerating the high street.
He added: “The key to making meaningful change will be in driving forward with public and private sectors in partnership. One size will not fit all and we need to ensure local authorities, LEPs and BIDs are empowered and engaged to work in tandem with the private sector to reshape towns for the modern consumer.”