The Welsh Government has confirmed an extension to its business rate relief scheme for 2019-20.

Some 15,000 retailers throughout Wales with a rateable value of up to £50,000 will benefit from the scheme, with rates bills reduced to zero for properties with a rateable value of up to £9,100.

Local authorities will also receive an additional £2.4m to provide discretionary rates relief allowing them to respond to specific local needs. This funding will be provided to councils through the revenue support grant in 2019-20.

Welsh finance secretary Mark Drakeford said: “The high street is at the heart of local communities, providing a central hub for people to shop, eat and socialise. The current economic conditions and competition from the internet and out-of-town shopping centres, have hit some high street businesses hard.

“This enhanced high street rate relief scheme for 2019-20 will ensure more ratepayers across Wales receive support to pay their bills and can continue to provide much-needed services to their local communities.”

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “Convenience stores and other small businesses in Wales will welcome this additional rate relief scheme which will help retailers to invest in improving their businesses in the future.

“We are pleased that the Welsh Government remains committed to this, but urge them to ensure that local authorities make good use of the additional discretionary funds that are being made available to them.”

Figures from the 2018 ACS Local Shop Report show that there are 2,923 convenience stores in Wales, with more shops per head in Wales than in any other part of the UK.