05/09/17: Breckland offers retail businesses a helping hand

Councillors in Breckland have agreed proposals to reduce business rates for eligible retail companies by up to 80% as part of its ongoing effort to support the district's five market towns.

At their meeting today (September 5), Breckland's Cabinet voted to adopt a discretionary retail rate relief scheme centred on Attleborough, Dereham, Swaffham, Thetford and Watton, following a successful pilot scheme in Dereham in 2016.

Under the rates relief scheme, retail businesses - including shops, restaurants, and others - who move into a vacant town centre unit may be eligible for the business rates relief during their first year.

Cllr Paul Claussen, Executive Member for Place, said: "Reducing empty properties and enhancing what is on offer is a priority for the council, and by giving retail businesses taking new or additional space a helping hand we are hoping to do just that. This is another innovative way that we can encourage the regeneration of local market towns and it will align with a package of support that we hope to develop as part of our upcoming Market Towns Initiative."

Now that members have approved plans for the discretionary retail rate relief scheme to be rolled out on a broader basis, Breckland Council will agree how to implement the scheme with each of the town councils.