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Unit 11 in Hughenden Yard Marlborough - one of the properties to benefit from a rates reduction

New shopkeepers can benefit from fifty percent rates relief

Traders looking to open up shop in Swindon, Marlborough and Calne could benefit from a fifty percent reduction in rates, according to commercial property consultant Andrew Kilpatrick.

The reduction – announced in last year’s Autumn Statement – came into force in last week, and Mr Kilpatrick says there are a number of properties on his books that qualify.

Last December, the Chancellor announced a raft of measures, including:

  • A reduction in the UBR increase due for 2014/15 from 3.2 percent to two percent.
  • Extension of Small Business Rate Relief for a further year to 31 March 2015 and 12 months of extended relief after taking on a new second property.
  • A £1,000 discount for shops, pubs and restaurants with a rateable value of less than £50,000, for two years from 1 April 2014.
  • Fifty percent rates relief for 18 months from 1 April 2014 for businesses that move into shops that have been empty for a year or more.
  • Payment of rates bills to be allowed in 12 monthly instalments instead of 10.
  • Ninety five percent of outstanding business rates appeals lodged by September 2013 to be cleared by July 2015.

Mr Kilpatrick said this week: “The rates relief on empty shop properties will make a big difference to retailers looking to take on a new shop from April.

“The new rates relief can be worth several thousands of pounds in cost savings to an incoming retailer, which will be significant in assisting new shop occupations.

“However, to get the maximum rates relief, a new tenant must be in occupation of an empty shop before October 2014, so retailers need to be looking at suitable shops now, and getting terms agreed before occupation can begin.”