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Consultation on scheme to help Craven businesses with rate increases

Craven District Council has launched a consultation on a proposed scheme to provide help for local businesses facing increases in their rates.

The Government's Valuation Office Agency recently completed a revaluation of all non-domestic properties, and new rateable values came into effect from April 1, 2017. The revaluation affects the amount of business rates many businesses across the Craven District will have to pay.

Craven District Council has drawn up proposals for a discretionary relief scheme, which will help around 240 businesses in the district, and is asking for comments on the proposals from businesses and the general public.

Councillor Patrick Mulligan, lead member for Financial Resilience, said: "We have produced a scheme which we believe will help those local businesses facing the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the revaluation.

"There is an additional provision for charities run entirely by volunteers that are considered to be the most hard-pressed financially and those that have had a reduction in rural relief. We welcome feedback on these proposals, so if you have a view, please let us know."

The Government has made £300 million available nationally over four years, from 2017/18, to support those businesses that face the highest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the revaluation. Craven's share of the £300 million is £166,000 in 2017/18, £81,000 in 2018/19, £33,000 in 2019/20 and £5,000 in 2020/21.

The Government has made it clear that any relief awarded should only support smaller ratepayers who are facing an increase in their bills following the 2017 revaluation.

Craven District Council's proposals include providing relief to businesses with a maximum 2017 rateable value of £100,000, who have had an increase of at least £150 in their rate liability due to the 2017 revaluation. The plans also suggest a maximum relief amount of £1,000.

Charities run entirely by volunteers in the Craven district would be awarded enough relief to ensure they pay no business rates.

There are a number of other support schemes available for different businesses; the Support for Pubs scheme will provide for a £1,000 discount for properties, with a rateable value under £100,000, in 2017/18, while the Supporting Small Businesses Relief (SSBR) scheme will support ratepayers that have lost some or all of their Small Business Rate relief or Rural Rate Relief.

For more information on the proposals, and to take part in the consultation, go to

The consultation documents are also available at the Craven District Council offices, Belle Vue Square, Skipton, BD23 2RN.