Harris Lamb has announced hopes that businesses in the county are drawing together resources to best respond to the Chancellor’s announcement that local authorities would retain the proceeds from business rates, and hopes to gain insight on the matter at the Worcestershire LEP conference in Droitwich this week.


The business foresees a great deal of discussion about the topic with fellow exhibitors and visitors at this Friday’s Worcestershire LEP conference at the Chateau Impney, and plans to speak with visitors and fellow exhibitors about the changes to the system and the way businesses would like to work with the council to improve the region


George Osborne’s plans mean that councils in England will be able to keep the proceeds from business rates raised within their area, enabling them to better fund business communities, something Jacqui Bayliss, director at Harris Lamb said businesses should strive to encourage.


JacquiBayliss“At present, local authorities keep 50 per cent of the revenue from business rates, while handing the rest over to the Government, but the long-term intention is that by holding onto it, authorities will be better placed to support their areas with funding and help drive growth,” said Jacqui.


“There has been some concern that poorer business communities will not benefit as much as their counterparts elsewhere in the country, and that Worcestershire itself is not a high yield business rate county, but Worcester is growing stronger as it benefits from huge amounts of investment,” she said.


Jacqui said that projects such as the forthcoming Waitrose in London Road, Worcester 6, the new business park off junction six of the M5, and the practical completion of the latest phase of Malvern Hills Technology Park all show that the region’s economy is flourishing and could only have a positive impact on the region and as such, its position in shaping how business rates proceeds are spent.


“The team here at Worcester and our specialist rating colleagues have worked closely with businesses to conduct a number of successful rating appeals within the county, and with the topic such a hot one right now in view of the Prime Minister’s CBI conference comments, we envisage a good deal of discussion about it at #WLEP15 this Friday.


“We’ll certainly be interested to get as much insight as possible into the opinions and concerns of other businesses operating in the region as to their take on the change in plans and their thoughts on how proceeds should best be spent to benefit Worcestershire,” she added.


For more information on Harris Lamb’s rating services and advice contact Jacqui Bayliss or Lance Turner at Harris Lamb’s Worcester office on 01905 22666 or visit https://www.harrislamb.com/rating/