Page added on January 24, 2013
More than £700,000 per year will be available to boost businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire, thanks to a new deal between 10 authorities.
The county, city and district councils and the fire authority have agreed to pool business rates, to ensure that the money is spent in the area.
The Government used to collect business rates from councils and then redistribute them nationally. Under the new system, councils can keep a proportion of the cash.
But areas which see a growth in business rates have to pay a proportion back to the Government, unless they agree to share it across their local area.
By agreeing to pool their rates, the county, city and district councils and the fire authority can keep at least £700,000 per year in their area, instead of sending it back to the Government. The money will be spent on economic development.
Byron Rhodes, the county council’s deputy leader, said: “By working together, we get to keep the cash raised from businesses in our area – and use it to help the wider economy. We are very pleased that we are one of a small number of pools in the whole country that have managed to agree such a deal.”
City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Boosting the city and county’s economy is our shared priority, and anything we can do to help this is obviously welcome. I am very pleased to be able to support this initiative.”
Harborough District Council leader Michael Rook said: “We are committed to working for the benefit of the whole of the county and ensuring these local rates are kept within the area. Our district has a major role to play in ensuring businesses are retained and well served.”