Valley's business rates scheme set to bring £9m. boost

Coun. Ken Hind is looking forward to working with the neighbouring authorities.
Coun. Ken Hind is looking forward to working with the neighbouring authorities.
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Ribble Valley Borough Council is to lead a Business Rates Pilot Scheme that will bring a £9m. boost to Lancashire.

The pilot scheme will see 11 borough councils, two unitary authorities, the county council and fire authority keep 75% of growth in business rates and work together to deliver economic growth.

It will help to provide financial stability to the 15 participants and more funding to invest in services at a time when local authority budgets are under intense pressure. It will also increase resources to target strategic economic growth across Lancashire.

The councils involved in the pilot scheme have a combined collectable rate income of over £360m.

The borough council’s leader, Ken Hind, said: “We have much to gain from this scheme and are delighted to be leading on it.

“We have set a course for growth and this pilot scheme means our efforts to encourage more businesses, more jobs and more prosperity in the borough will pay dividends, as we will all be able to share in the pooled rewards. I would like to pay tribute to Lancashire finance officers for putting the successful bid together, which should bring an extra £9million in business rates growth to the county. This is an excellent example of partnership working between the 15 authorities.”

The pilot starts on April 1st and will test whether full retention of business rates can be rolled out nationally.

The councils taking part in the pilot are: Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre, along with Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority.