The Welsh Government has announced a £10m fund to help high street retailers who will be adversely affected by the business rates revaluation.
The scheme will support almost 15,000 high street businesses, including those that have seen their rates increase as a result of the Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA) revaluation, which comes into effect on April 1.
The first tier of relief will apply to high street retailers with a rateable value of between £6,001 and £12,000 who are already receiving either small business rates relief (SBRR) or transitional rates relief. They will receive a reduction in their rates bill of £500 or, if their bill is less than £500, it will be reduced to nil.
The second tier of relief will apply to eligible high street retailers with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £50,000 who are experiencing a rates increase from April 1. These ratepayers will receive a reduction in their rates bill of £1,500.
Finance secretary Mark Drakeford said: “Some retailers across Wales are concerned about increases in their rates as a result of the VOA’s revaluation.
“We are therefore providing a further £10m to help businesses in those communities which have been adversely affected.
“This new scheme is in addition to the £10m transitional relief scheme, which will also be available from April 1 and the £100m tax cut for small businesses in Wales provided by small business rates relief. It will provide vital support to ratepayers on high streets across Wales and offer these businesses extra support.”
Welcoming the scheme, Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “We commend the Welsh Government for wholly funding this scheme, which has a number of parallels with the Retail Rate Relief scheme that was unfortunately scrapped by the Westminster Government in 2016 for retailers in England.”