L-R: Middleton Business Owner, Tony Nugent, Chair of Middleton Township, Cllr June West and Leader or Rochdale Borough Council, Cllr Richard Farnell
A nationally-recognised business rates initiative that is helping to revive Rochdale town centre has now been extended to Middleton and Heywood.
Following a successful launch which saw new businesses move into Rochdale town centre, the council’s business rates sale is being rolled-out to other areas.
The business rates sale, which was introduced in January 2015, is the most generous scheme in the country and has already proved a success, helping to bring the likes of American style restaurant, CockaDoodleMoo and shoe repair shop, Shoemaster into Rochdale for the first time.
The council’s innovative scheme, which reduced vacancy rates in Rochdale town centre from 27 to 11 per cent, has been extended to Heywood and Middleton to help boost high streets across the borough.
The move will give anyone looking to open a business in selected areas of Middleton and Heywood town centres an 80% discount in their first
year of trading and a 50 per cent reduction in year two, followed by 30 per cent off in year three.
In Rochdale, the sale has also been extended to include the full length of Yorkshire Street up to John Street and Union Street, St Mary’s Gate and Cheetham Street. It will also offer traders a 30 per cent cut in their third year - a new feature of the scheme.
Councillor Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Our business rates sale has proved a huge success and shows what we can achieve when we do things a little differently. We’ve already improved the high street in Rochdale and created jobs for local people, and I’m sure it will deliver similar benefits for Heywood and Middleton.”
The scheme applies to selected empty units in the following areas:
• Market Place
• Market Street
• Parts of Bridge Street
• Parts of Long Street
• Parts of Wood Street
• Middleton Gardens
• Yorkshire Street (up to John Street)
• The Walk
• Baillie Street
• South Parade
• Cheetham Street
• Union Street
• St Mary’s Gate
Tony Nugent, from vehicle finance business Anthony K Associates Ltd in Long Street, Middleton, said: “This scheme is important because any person or business which is looking to commit to a premises needs to look at the ‘what if’ situation and this initiative helps reduce risk, which is important in the uncertain times we live in.”
Councillor Peter Rush, Chair of The Heywood Township, who also ran the Albany Hotel for a number of years, said: “I was lucky because the economy was much stronger when I was running my business, but these days it’s very hard, and business rates are one of a business owner’s highest bills.
“You also need competition when you’re in business, as it brings in more people and you all benefit. That’s why it’s so important that things like this happen and empty units get filled.”
The council is particularly keen to hear from restaurants and coffee shops, businesses selling food and drink and other retailers. Charity shops, pawn brokers and pound shops are among the businesses not eligible for the scheme.
Anyone who would like to find out more about the scheme, including if they are eligible, can find out more at: www.rochdale.gov.uk/bizratesale, call 01706 868999 or email email@example.com