Business expert backs rates relief plan

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PLANS to offer business rates relief of up to 100 per cent for new empty premises could help expansion in the Capital, an expert said today.

The Scottish Government announced the scheme earlier this week in a bid to encourage the supply of new-build business premises.

From April, owners or developers of new-build empty properties will be able to claim up to 100 per cent relief for up to 18 months.

Graham Birse, of Edinburgh Napier University’s business school, said: “We do need affordable business premises in Edinburgh.

“We want to attract businesses from outside which bring employment with them. Helping to control costs like this is one way of doing that.”

Local Government Minister Derek Mackay said Scotland already had the most competitive rates in the UK, worth more than £500 million annually.