Businesses who face steep increases to their business rates following a revaluation by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) are to receive a reduction thanks to a scheme which was approved by Huntingdonshire District Council’s cabinet meeting on 12 October.

Business rates are a tax charged on businesses- they are set nationally and we are then responsible for collecting the income. The VOA is required to undertake a regular revaluation of business rates and the latest review took place in 2017. Central government set up a national fund of £300 million over four years from 2017/18 to support businesses facing the steepest increases in business rates bills.

Councils have been expected to develop their own local scheme to distribute their share of the funding to businesses that face the greatest need. Around 160 local businesses will benefit as they receive their share of the £345,000 allocated to the Huntingdonshire area.

Cllr Jonathan Gray, Executive Councillor for Strategic Resources, said: "The council has worked to ensure this funding is being used effectively. We have already identified those businesses that qualify for this relief and the appropriate amount will be automatically credited to their accounts. Notifications will be sent to those businesses very shortly but this is another sign of the council’s hard work to help local businesses be successful."