Two new schemes that aim to bring long term empty properties back to use looks set to be given the go ahead by Councillors.
The two Business Rate schemes were announced in a recent statement to Welsh Assembly Members, and are a response to recommendations from the Business Rates Task and Finish Group that examined how business rates in Wales could be used to encourage economic development.
Both schemes are full funded by the Welsh Government and could see up to 50% rent relief granted to a property.
The first of the two schemes is titled ‘Open for Business’, and focuses on bringing long term unoccupied retail properties back into use and particularly supports new businesses in their first year of trading.
This scheme will provide a 12 month 50% ‘rate relief for all eligible buildings once the property is occupied again, provided the occupation date in on or after 1 October 2013 and on or before 31 March 2015. The retail properties will have had to have been unoccupied for a continuous period of 12 months or more and have a rateable value of no more than £45,000.
It is hoped that this scheme will make it easier for small businesses to start up, along with making a business more viable.
The second scheme is the ‘New Developments Scheme’ aims to incentivise new and speculative development, and could help boost construction in Wales. The scheme will exempt from business rates all newly built but vacant commercial property, completed on or after 1st October 2013 and before 1st October 2016 for the first 18 months following completion.
Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance, Cllr Malcolm King said: “This is not at a cost of the Council. We want to endorse the scheme so local businesses can benefit from the proposals.
“We hope it will relieve one of the barriers for people starting up a new business.”
The full report on Business Rates can be found on the Council website here.