Rate changes could provide a huge boost

We're open for business!

Saturday, 4th March 2017, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:02 am
Councillors hope Blackpool could be in line for a huge economic boost

That’s the message as a triple whammy of measures looks set to give Blackpool its biggest economic boost “in decades”.

Council chiefs today revealed business rates in the town are set to fall, while thousands of companies will not have to pay the charge at all.

It’s hoped the move will encourage new companies to move to the resort bringing jobs and investment.

The news comes on top of the creation of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and the creation of a £100m business loans fund by Blackpool Council.

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “The next five years of entrepreneurship promises to be extremely exciting for Blackpool – the incentives for businesses have never been better than they are right now.

“A trio of cheap business rates, a flourishing enterprise zone and a £100m loan fund means all the tools are in place for businesses on the Fylde coast to not only compete but to thrive.

“Together, this trio can prove to be the biggest economic driver this town has seen in decades and could change the face of Blackpool’s business economy forever.”

Retail stores and offices are set to benefit the most following the new revaluations by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which come into force on April 1.

On average, the revaluation could see a retail business in Blackpool paying 13 per cent less in business rates, compared to an average rise of five per cent across the country.

Office based businesses will benefit from an average reduction of 18 per cent, compared to an average rise of 13 per cent elsewhere in the UK.

The VOA carries out revaluations nationally every five years.

Blackpool has seen reductions due to a fall in property values.

By comparison, rising property values in the south of England will see their bills rise.

Coun Blackburn added: “For thousands of Blackpool businesses, the revaluation of business rates means they will have more spare money to spend on investing and growing their company.

“That could equate to thousands of pounds spent on hiring new workers, expanding their offices or investing in new machinery to take on extra work.

“For businesses operating in the south of the country where rates and costs are continuing to rise, the benefits of moving to the Fylde coast could be even bigger.

Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservatives on Blackpool Council, said: “This is indeed good news for businesses and once again shows this Conservative government is delivering its promises to help re-build the Northern Economy.

“Councils all over the North West will all benefit from the new changes.

“Certainly in Blackpool’s case it provides the opportunity for this council to use this very valuable change into trying to attempt to bring in a much better level of retail and manufacturing jobs.”