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Business rate growth to remain in Boston

Boston Borough Council is among nine of Greater Lincolnshire's councils to have successfully bid to take part in a pilot scheme which will see 100 per cent of growth in business rates being retained by the authorities rather than paid to central Government.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced that the area will take part in the pilot alongside nine other areas of the country from this April.

Local authorities were encouraged earlier in the year to put forward proposals to retain growth in their business rates income, in a bid to reduce councils' dependence on central Government. Councils currently keep only 50 per cent of growth.

It is estimated that the pilot could raise more than £10 million in additional funding for the councils of Boston, East Lindsey, Lincoln, Lincolnshire County Council, North Kesteven, South Holland, South Kesteven, West Lindsey and North Lincolnshire.

The Government's business rates retention programme aims to give local councils extra funding needed to grow their economies. Lincolnshire has a strong track record of working collaboratively and will look to build on these strong links with the granting of pilot status.

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, including commercial properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and holiday rental homes.

Phil Drury, Boston Borough Council's Chief Executive, said: "As Government continues to move towards no longer supporting councils with grant, this pilot will put Lincolnshire and Boston at the forefront in making sure that future business rates arrangements are as good as they can be.

"The modest, but welcome, funding to support the economy and growth potentially obtained via this pilot is of course very good news for the town."

The proposal to act as a pilot for 100 per cent business rate retention was put to Government last October.

Greater Lincolnshire will be at the forefront of developing mechanisms for business rate retention, allowing growth generated locally to be retained locally and  reinvested into the local economy.