Shops and businesses in Clitheroe look set for a brighter future after the establishment of the Clitheroe Town Action Group (C-TAG).
The group has been recently formed to transform Clitheroe’s struggling town centre by tackling issues surrounding empty properties, rent and rates and competition. It will also look at ways of increasing footfall into the area and giving local businesses a boost.
Chairman of the action group Ged Mirfin has already spoken out against the levels of business rates which companies in Clitheroe have to pay and is urging Ribble Valley Borough Council to freeze business rates and then reduce them in a bid to attract new retailers.
He said: “The tax that high street businesses struggle with most is local business rates. There is a need to ease the pressure on smaller firms and ensure that it isn’t these rates that send them out of business.
“Something needs to be done urgently in order to address the problem. I highly commend the recent proposals put in place by Blackburn-with-Darwen Borough Council, including a discount on business rates for a 12-month trial period of up to 100% for a year for new or expanding creative businesses or independent shops.”
A similar opinion was voiced by Clitheroe Town Mayor and action group member Coun. Kevin Horkin, who fears Clitheroe is in danger of becoming a “zombie high street” following the closure of 12 businesses in the past six months.