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Business rates hotspots identified

Date 23 Apr 2007

The average business property bill has increased by 29% over the past seven years, according to new research into the regional variation in business rates. According to Bank of Scotland Business Banking, business rates have increased by more than 50% in 20 local authority areas during the past seven years – only five local authorities reduced rates during the same period.

The average business rates bill is now £9,294 according to the bank – an increase of 29%. The highest increase in rates was in Selby, Yorkshire, where there was a 147% increase from £8,524 to £21,045. Businesses in Selby were found to have the highest rates bill outside of London and the South East. Alnwick in Northumberland was found to have one of the ten lowest rates bills in the country, at £2,812.

The area with highest bill overall though was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the City of London, where businesses pay an average of £38,948 per property. The research also revealed the emergence of business rates ‘hot-spots’ such as those around airport hubs like Heathrow and Gatwick.

Kevin Gillet, head of business banking at the Bank of Scotland, said: “Location, location, location – this is what drives the business rates you pay. Our analysts show that business rates are highest in areas such as Hillingdon and Crawley [where Heathrow and Gatwick are located], where there is a high degree of economic activity and demand for land, and high quality commercial property. Conversely, businesses in remote rural areas tend to pay the lowest levels of rates.”

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