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Budget unveils business rates relief amid concerns from theatres

Chancellor Philip Hammond. Photo: Peter R Foster/Shutterstock
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Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced measures to provide business rates relief to smaller companies who will be affected by a rise in the tax this April.

His plans, which were set out in the 2017 spring budget, come amid concerns that higher business rates could threaten the viability of some regional theatres.

Governmental plans to increase business property taxes, which are based on the rental value of the property, will impact upon theatres across the country, with fringe theatres and smaller venues also particularly worried about surging costs.

Hammond has announced three measures to provide £435 million worth of business rates relief.

He has also announced a consultation on business rates, which will give theatres the opportunity voice their concerns.

These include offering a £1,000 a year discount for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000, which will apply to 90% of pubs and could include pub theatres.

However, many businesses will see their business rates rise by more than £1,000, so they will still see an overall increase.

Hammond has also announced a £3 million fund to allow local authorities to provide business rate relief at their discretion to target “individual hard-hit cases in certain areas”, which could include theatre venues.

Additionally, no business losing small business rate relief will see their bill increase by more than £50 a month, Hammond confirmed.

He said: “Business rates raise £25 billion a year, all of which will be going to fund local government, so we cannot abolish them as some have suggested.”

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