Ashfield among UK's top 10 councils for biggest increase in business rates

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New research shows Ashfield Council has made the top ten list of councils with the biggest increase in business rates over the last five years,

With many businesses feeling the reduction in spending due to the cost of living crisis, along with the ongoing increase in energy prices, business rates are a substantial cost for many companies to factor into their bottom line.

To understand the councils and regions that have seen the biggest increases in business rates, BPI Asset Disposal Solutions sent out Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to 317 local councils to discover the ‘average annual business rates costs, or current liability payable over the last five years’ and ‘the total value of the business rate relief granted in 2022’.

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Ashfield’s increase of 13.63 per cent put it seventh on the UK list.

Ashfield Council is in the UK's top 10 for increase in business ratesAshfield Council is in the UK's top 10 for increase in business rates
Ashfield Council is in the UK's top 10 for increase in business rates
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North West Leicestershire came out on top as the council with the biggest percentage increase in business rates, with a reported 29 per cent increase across the last five years.

Second was Great Yarmouth (22.19) and third was London Borough of Lambeth (19.27 per cent).

Overall, the study found that, on average, business rates have risen by 18 per cent when compared to the previous year³.

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However, local councils across the UK were granted more than £2.6 billion of relief in 2022.

Henry Spencer, operation director at BPI, said: “We understand that many businesses are feeling the impact of the ongoing economic uncertainty and cost of living crisis, so we wanted to understand what additional support businesses in Ashfield could be utilising to help through these difficult times.

“If you are struggling with rising business rates and are unable to take advantage of the relief available, reviewing your current plant and machinery, excess stock and other business assets and streamlining this will save you space and allow you to enhance your cash flow.

"Selling them through a commercial disposal specialist means you could have the cash in your bank in just a few short weeks.”

Ashfield MP Lee Anderson (Con) has criticised the ruling Ashfield Independents over Ashfield’s increase.

Posting on his Facebook page, he said: “Thanks to the Ashfield Independents we (Ashfield) are now in the UKs top 10 for increasing business rates.

"With local shops and traders struggling you would think they would be on the side of small business especially since I secured over £70 million for them to spend locally from the levelling up fund.

"They simply cannot be trusted.”

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But Coun Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), Ashfield Council leader, said: “This is fantastic news for the Ashfield district, because business rates are set nationally by the Government – we simply collect them – so this isn’t an increase in charges.

"This is an increase in the number of successful businesses in our district.

“What these figures show are that Ashfield is in the top 10 fastest growing places in the whole country.

“In reality, what this means is that since the Ashfield independents have come to control the district, we have brought in more businesses and more jobs for local residents.

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"Key to that success has been supporting existing businesses through Covid.

"We have brought in huge new businesses such as Amazon, creating a significant number of jobs and many new businesses at Castle Wood Business Park .

“In addition to that, our record-breaking work on securing funding, such as the largest Towns Fund award in the UK, has meant that the council itself can and is purchasing derelict shops in our town centres and bringing them back into use.

“Clearly this independent data is testament to the work we have been doing and it’s proof positive that only the Ashfield Independents are bucking the trend and truly regenerating our district.”

“I further note that Lee Anderson has criticised this.

“It just confirms our belief that Lee Anderson is thick as mince and unsuitable to be MP for Ashfield.”