Welcomed budget boost for Somerset to help regeneration in South Somerset and support business growth

| District
South Somerset District Council has welcomed the news that Somerset is to be included in the latest phase of the Business Rate Retention pilot scheme, which should mean an extra £6.8m for Somerset as a whole.

The Minister for Housing Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, have confirmed the news.

Budget boost for Somerset

The county and district councils bid together to be included in the scheme. It means that for one year they will be able to keep 75 per cent of growth in the money raised through Business Rates above the target set by Government, instead of the current 50 per cent.

Around £2.4m of the additional funding will be available to district councils. South Somerset District Council will invest its share of the funds in the regeneration of town centres such as Yeovil, Chard and Wincanton. This funding will also support business growth in the regenerated town centres.

An estimated £1m should be available to the County Council for use to support frontline services such as those for vulnerable adults and children. The remaining £3.4m is earmarked for investment in projects that support economic activity and growth across Somerset. These will be identified by the county and district councils working closely together with support from partners.

Councillor Peter Seib, portfolio holder for Finance at South Somerset District Council, said: "All Somerset Councils worked together and we did well to be chosen for this Government scheme against tough competition. Each Council had to explain how it would use the retained money to improve local growth. SSDC told the Government that there is a very strong business case for regeneration in our Town Centres, attracting new jobs as well as improving the lives of residents. I'd like to thank the bid team and I look forward to all of the benefits."

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