Lancashire has been selected as one of a number of areas to take part in a national pilot allowing councils to retain 75 per cent of growth in business rates.
Taking part in the pilot will help provide financial stability for the 15 member authorities and will mean more funding to invest in service areas at a time when local authority budgets are under intense pressure.
It will also increase the resources available to target strategic economic growth across Lancashire and will encourage councils to work together to deliver growth in the region.
The councils have a combined collectible rate income of more than £360 million.
Councillor Susan Fazackerley MBE, Leader of Fylde Council, said “the Leaders of the Lancashire Authorities were assured that, if the bid was not successful it would not be detrimental to the advantages of our being in the Lancashire Pool. This is advantageous to us all and we did want to jeopardise it.
“Our fears, however, were unnecessary as the decision has been made to include Lancashire in the pilot. This will be financially rewarding for the Lancashire authorities and I am very pleased indeed at our selection.”
This pilot will run from 1 April 2019 and will test whether full retention of business rates can be rolled out nationally.
The Government’s aim is for all local authorities to retain 75% of business rates from 2020 to 2021.
Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties such as shops, offices, pubs, factories, holiday rental homes or guest houses. Levels are set by the Valuation Agency.
The following authorities are in the Lancashire Pilot:
• Burnley Borough Council
• Chorley Borough Council
• Fylde Borough Council
• Hyndburn Borough Council
• Pendle Borough Council
• Preston City Council
• Ribble Valley Borough Council
• Rossendale Borough Council
• South Ribble Borough Council
• West Lancashire Borough Council
• Wyre Borough Council
• Lancashire County Council
• Blackpool Borough Council
• Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
• Lancashire Combined Fire Authority