West Sussex councils set to retain more Business Rate growth

PR2202/KH/SH - 20/12/2018

West Sussex councils have successfully applied to take part in a new Government pilot scheme that allows them to reinvest growth in Business Rates to support the local economy.

Under the pilot scheme, councils in West Sussex will be able to retain any increase in Business Rates locally, rather than giving it to the Government. The funding will be held in a joint pool on behalf of the Districts of Adur, Arun, Chichester, Horsham, Mid Sussex, the Boroughs of Crawley and Worthing and West Sussex County Council.

It is forecast that the additional business rates retained for investment locally could be £19m in 2019/20.

The Councils aim to work together and invest the money in infrastructure to support the rollout of Full Fibre digital connectivity across West Sussex.

Studies have shown that the economic benefits of full fibre infrastructure are significant in terms of productivity and innovation. This next generation of connectivity will help the county to remain productive and competitive over the long-term and enable businesses to create better, higher-paying jobs across West Sussex.

Councillor Garry Wall, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:

“The beauty of this pilot is that it provides Councils with more opportunities to support business growth in their area, something which in turn benefits the whole community.

We are grateful to our local MP, Sir Nicholas Soames, who has championed our work within Government.

“All the authorities within West Sussex will be working together to make sure that the retained Business Rates re invested wisely. Our first priority will be enabling infrastructure for full fibre roll out. Gigabit connectivity is vital for our area and will bring support to businesses of all sizes.”

Councillor Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council said:

“We are proud to have a strong local economy in West Sussex but we know that, with the right investment, there is enormous potential for us to grow into one of the most prosperous areas in the country.

“To have full control over the generation of Business Rates within our area is so important to us. Not only will it enhance our relationship with the local business community but our future growth will provide additional funding to finance essential infrastructure improvements.