Coun­cil’s al­low­ing rates re­lief at three derelict build­ings

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS - Ross Gardiner

Two derelict Coupar An­gus ho­tels and a dis­used Blair­gowrie church have been listed as part of a coun­cil ini­tia­tive to solve Perthshire’s“eye­sore”is­sue.

Perth and Kin­ross coun­cil­lors agreed a £100,000 ini­tia­tive ear­lier this month to of­fer a year’s busi­ness rates re­lief for any­one tak­ing on the ren­o­va­tion of a derelict prop­erty in the re­gion.

The strate­gic pol­icy and re­sources com­mit­tee unan­i­mously agreed on the pro­posal to of­fer 100 per cent rates re­lief to in­vestors for the first 12 months of op­er­at­ing in any of 40 se­lected build­ings.

The Royal Ho­tel at the Cross in Coupar An­gus, and the Strath­more Ho­tel on Queen Street, as well as St Mary’s Church on Re­form Street in Blair­gowrie were in­cluded on the list of elig­ble build­ings.

Leader of the coun­cil and con­venor of the com­mit­tee, Coun­cil­lor Ian Camp­bell, said that he was de­lighted to be able to of­fer­ing more en­cour­age­ment for busi­nesses to op­er­ate in the lo­cal au­thor­ity area.

He said:“In line with our com­mit­ment to support and as­sist lo­cal busi­nesses where we can, this pro­posal fur­ther shows our com­mit­ment to grow­ing lo­cal busi­ness.

“This pro­posal en­cour­ages busi­ness own­ers, and in­deed po­ten­tial tenants, to grasp the op­por­tu­nity of set­ting up a new busi­ness with a year’s re­lief from busi­ness rates.”

The scheme builds on the va­cant prop­erty ini­tia­tive which was put in place by the pre­vi­ous SNP coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The coun­cil’s SNP leader, Coun­cil­lor Dave Doogan, also sup­ported the plan to in­crease in­vest­ment in the area, al­though ques­tioned whether it would be ef­fec­tive or merely good in­ten­tions.

He said:“I wel­come this proac­tive ap­proach to what is a chal­leng­ing is­sue, but are there peo­ple and busi­nesses look­ing to in­vest?”

At the meet­ing coun­cil of­fi­cials con­firmed that an in­ter­est, or lack thereof, in in­vest­ing in Perth and its sur­round­ing area is not some­thing they were wor­ried about.

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