High-end fashion chain Flannels has been given £125,000 in business rates relief by Doncaster Council to prevent a former pub and nightclub it bought remaining empty.
The site at Priory Walk, Doncaster, was bought by Mike Ashley in 2016, but renovation was halted by Flannels’ head of property acquisition. The council feared that without the agreed funding it would remain it a “derelict” state.
Council documents said: “If we are unable to support this investment, the unit will remain empty and the area, in general, will continue to look undesirable to new investors.”
After accepting the offer, Flannels opened in October.
In the year to 29 April 2018, Flannels had a turnover of £62m and made a £5m profit.
The news comes after Ashley appeared in front of MPs last week, to discuss the future of the high street. He called for a 20% internet sales tax and five-year relief of business rates for retailers from councils.
Doncaster council admit that the business rates relief offered to Flannels might “risk setting a powerful precedent for further retail applications and challenges if they are not supported”.