Newport traders to get rate relief to fill empty shops

South Wales Argus: Argus-Mark     05-03-13
Newport Empty Shops 
Commercial Street  (3112900) Argus-Mark 05-03-13 Newport Empty Shops Commercial Street (3112900)

A WELSH scheme to give tax relief for new occupiers of shops that have been shut for more than a year is set to be implemented in Newport next week.

The Welsh Government has introduced two new schemes to encourage firms to develop and occupy business premises.

Under the scheme new occupiers of retail premises that have been shut for a year will be entitled to 50 per cent off their rates for a period of 12 months.

The premises need to have a rateable value of less than £45,000, and the scheme will apply to shops occupied between October 2013 and March 2015.

New commercial developments built between last October and the end of March 2015 will also be entitled to an extension of the period when they do not have to pay business rates for up to 18 months.

Currently commercial properties receive a rate-free period of three months.

As well as encouraging new premises to be developed, it is hoped the move will help deal with the numbers of empty retail premises in towns and city centres.

Each council needs to implement the measures itself, with Newport council set to put them in place at a meeting of full council on Tuesday evening.

Business rates are collected by Newport City Council on behalf of the Welsh Government, which sets them.

Newport city centre has been badly hit by store closures over the last few years – with major stores like Marks and Spencer moving to Spytty retail park. More recently record store HMV closed its branch in Commercial Street, although the Cwmbran store remains open.

Earlier this month the Argus reported that firms in Newport city centre could be in line for relief on their business rates amid concerns about the impact of redevelopment works.

The Valuation Office Agency had agreed to assess the impact of the works and consider if any adjustments are required, according to a letter from Economy Minister Edwina Hart to Newport East AM John Griffiths.

The authority also has to approve its council tax benefit scheme in Newport, now known as a council tax reduction scheme, at the meeting on Tuesday.

The move is largely a formality as the scheme is obligatory, although local authorities can make changes on specific aspects if they wish.

In Newport the authority officers have recommended that war disablement pensions or war widows’ pension should be disregarded when calculating income.

A total of £5.2 million has been made available by the Welsh Government to authorities to help with the costs of introducing the new scheme. Council tax benefit was controversially devolved to Wales by the UK government back in 2012.

Comments (10)

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12:35pm Mon 27 Jan 14

welshmen says...

Wow, this didn't take long to implement, 6 years to late....
Wow, this didn't take long to implement, 6 years to late.... welshmen
  • Score: 7

1:16pm Mon 27 Jan 14

wenstef says...

why not give them 3 months free rent to help start their businesss,
shops have make enough profit to pay exorbitant rent rates then electricity telephone, insurance and stock before taking a salary
they need a huge incentive.
why house Newport got it so wrong?
better parking would help, they is nowhere near the Newport market for parkig and don't say there is because the last twice I have driven there the 2 closest car parks were full so I had no option being disabled I drove home.
I will be very reluctant to ever visit Newport town centre again until the parking improves.
why not give them 3 months free rent to help start their businesss, shops have make enough profit to pay exorbitant rent rates then electricity telephone, insurance and stock before taking a salary they need a huge incentive. why house Newport got it so wrong? better parking would help, they is nowhere near the Newport market for parkig and don't say there is because the last twice I have driven there the 2 closest car parks were full so I had no option being disabled I drove home. I will be very reluctant to ever visit Newport town centre again until the parking improves. wenstef
  • Score: 9

1:35pm Mon 27 Jan 14

St3v3y says...

The penny suddenly drops !!!!
The penny suddenly drops !!!! St3v3y
  • Score: 10

1:36pm Mon 27 Jan 14

St3v3y says...

St3v3y wrote:
The penny suddenly drops !!!!
Many years too late...
[quote][p][bold]St3v3y[/bold] wrote: The penny suddenly drops !!!![/p][/quote]Many years too late... St3v3y
  • Score: 9

2:04pm Mon 27 Jan 14

portman says...

Just walked up dock st towards the new bus shelter traders penned in with no access for trading as they are STILL laying slabs right outside the shops why the hell didn't they do it yesterday with the shops shut.These poor traders must pulling their hair out 15 months of misery for these people .Get down there argus and report that!
Just walked up dock st towards the new bus shelter traders penned in with no access for trading as they are STILL laying slabs right outside the shops why the hell didn't they do it yesterday with the shops shut.These poor traders must pulling their hair out 15 months of misery for these people .Get down there argus and report that! portman
  • Score: 11

2:37pm Mon 27 Jan 14

p stani says...

You must all be looking forward to all the new mobile phone repair/chinese nail bars and extra charity shops in your town soon.
You must all be looking forward to all the new mobile phone repair/chinese nail bars and extra charity shops in your town soon. p stani
  • Score: 8

3:45pm Mon 27 Jan 14

St3v3y says...

p stani wrote:
You must all be looking forward to all the new mobile phone repair/chinese nail bars and extra charity shops in your town soon.
Dont forget the Pawn shop......!!!!
[quote][p][bold]p stani[/bold] wrote: You must all be looking forward to all the new mobile phone repair/chinese nail bars and extra charity shops in your town soon.[/p][/quote]Dont forget the Pawn shop......!!!! St3v3y
  • Score: 2

9:24pm Mon 27 Jan 14

DDDog1 says...

Some more closing down sales to look forward to.
Some more closing down sales to look forward to. DDDog1
  • Score: -2

9:58am Tue 28 Jan 14

NakedDancer says...

Good news - though you have to wonder what bubble the WAG live in to take so long to take any action. I understand from a recent TV programme that rateable values are also too high as they were set pre-recession. Sounds like that needs sorting urgently as well.
Good news - though you have to wonder what bubble the WAG live in to take so long to take any action. I understand from a recent TV programme that rateable values are also too high as they were set pre-recession. Sounds like that needs sorting urgently as well. NakedDancer
  • Score: 3

10:02am Tue 28 Jan 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

So sad to see nice buildings standing empty - it could be something special.
So sad to see nice buildings standing empty - it could be something special. Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 1

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