Friday, 14 March 2014

Relief for hard-pressed high streets

The number of empty properties on the county’s high streets may be about to fall as business rates relief comes into force next month, according to Smiths Gore, the chartered surveyors and property consultants based at Kings Hill.

In last year’s autumn statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced the introduction of a 50 per cent discount on business rates for new occupants of previously empty retail premises in a bid to reduce the number of boarded-up shops on English high streets.

The tax relief will be available to businesses moving in to properties between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016, and the discount will last for 18 months.

Alison Owen of Smiths Gore, said: “This relief is intended to kickstart interest in attracting businesses back to the country’s High Streets, which have come under considerable pressure from out of town destinations and internet shopping.”

No restrictions will be imposed on the type or size of the business taking the property and they will not be required to be a retail company to qualify. It is anticipated the properties will need to have been empty for at least a year to qualify.

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