Rates to be shared


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A SCHEME which could see up to £2million pumped into businesses in the South West has been approved by the Government.

North Somerset businesses will be among those to benefit from the new pool of money, which will be dished out across the area and come from business rates collected in the district and also in a number of Somerset authority areas

Half of the total rates collected is normally passed on to central Government and redistributed nationally, but will instead be used to help boost the region’s economy.

The South West is forecast to experience above average growth over the next few years. Pooling business rates will help to mitigate local demographic and service pressures arising from this and it is also hoped it will stimulate new development.

North Somerset Council leader Nigel Ashton said: “Promoting economic growth and providing more local jobs is a key priority for the council.

“The pooling of business rates supports this priority and will give us more control in the future over how business rates can be used to stimulate growth in the local economy.

“This new arrangement has the potential to ensure a further £2million of business rates are retained locally to be shared between the member councils and used to encourage further growth in the local economy.”

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As well as North Somerset Council, the Somerset Business Rates Pool also includes Somerset County Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES), Sedgemoor and South Somerset District Councils and Taunton Dean Borough Council.

The pool will provide improved opportunities for co-ordination across the region, further re-investment in transport links in the area and will build on the joint working already taking place between North Somerset and B&NES, including the immediate opportunity to share expertise across the authorities.