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Business Rates Relief Scheme

Volume 653: debated on Monday 28 January 2019

14. What steps he is taking under the 2019-20 business rates relief scheme to encourage a diversity of businesses on the high street. (908842)

Working with Sir John Timpson before the Budget, we set out the action plan to support the transformation of high streets. That included a business rate discount of some £900 million for eligible retailers and a £675 million future high street fund.

I am grateful to the Minister for the answer. I recently visited a new start-up in my high street that runs escape rooms and panic rooms—I commend them to the Prime Minister. They do not qualify for small business rate relief and will not qualify for the retail discount as they are deemed a leisure business. Is it possible that small business rate relief can be extended to such innovators on our high streets to ease the pressure as they start up their businesses?

The point is that big or small, all rate reliefs benefit the entire high street. Healthy high streets are busy high streets, and businesses of whatever type benefit from people visiting them.