Rates relief for eyesores agreed by PKC
One year’s grace for businesses
An initiative to offer a year’s business rates relief for anyone taking on the renovation of a range of Perthshire eyesores has been given the green light.
Perth and Kinross Council’s strategic policy and resources committee unanimously agreed to offer 100 per cent rates relief to investors for the first 12 months of operating in any of 40 selected buildings.
The list includes many prominent locations in and around the heart of the Fair City, such as Harry’s Bar, St Andrews and St Stephens Church on Atholl Street, the former Co-op buildings on Scott Street, the Mae Ping restaurant and former Co-op Travel shop units on South Street and the former Clachan and Quality Cafe units.
Furthermore, buildings in Crieff, Blairgowrie, Pitlochry, Coupar Angus, Errol and Bankfoot have also been included.
Council leader and committee convener, Cllr Ian Campbell, is delighted to be offering encouragement to businesses.
He told Wednesday’s meeting: “In line with our commitment to support and assist local businesses where The Clachan
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.”
This scheme builds on the Vacant Property Initiative which was put in place by the previous SNP-led council.
Current local SNP group leader, Cllr Dave Doogan, broadly supported the plan to increase investment in Perth and Kinross, but questioned whether it was going to be effective.
He asked: “I welcome this proactive approach to what is a challenging issue, but are there people and businesses looking to invest?”
A total of £100,000 has been agreed to support this project.
Independent Highland ward councillor, Xander McDade, queried whether the allocated budget would be enough to support the scheme.
Local authority officials present confirmed the allocated funds would cover the costs of the 40 buildings on the initial list.
Progress is already being made on some of the buildings, including the Waverley Hotel, St Paul’s Church and the former McEwens building – the latter of which was recently purchased by department store chain Beales.
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