Council support during regeneration
Wokingham Borough Council explains how it is helping town centre traders:
Business Rates are worked out on a nationally set rate based on a property’s ‘rateable value’ The rateable value is set by the Valuation Office Agency
The Council has no control over the rateable value set by the VOA but individual businesses can apply to have their Rateable Value reviewed to reflect circumstances such as the works currently going on in town. This is called a ‘material change in circumstance’ and,
if the VOA agree the situation warrants it, the rateable value of their property would be temporarily reduced resulting in a lower bill for rates.
What have the council offered
Most larger national businesses are well aware of the material change scheme, have their own experts in place and may already be in the process of making claims to the VOA.
Recognising it is harder for smaller and independent businesses the Council has offered to pay for our own ratings advisors to support
these local businesses in understanding the process and consider making relevant claims.
This approach was used successfully with our own tenants when Phase 1 works were underway (Clarks corner) and we believe it can help here.
Where are we now?
The Council, and their Ratings advisors, met with the Business Association in August to offer this support
We are waiting to hear back from the Business Association as to whether there is interest from smaller / independent businesses in taking this up.