LUDLOW traders will still face stinging increases in business rates despite negotiations resulting in some relief.

Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow North on Shropshire Council, says there is some good news but the benefit is limited.

He says that after effective negotiations and some successful appeals, the overall business rates bill for Ludlow has gone down.

The town had been facing above average increases after the revaluation of properties last year.

“It is still facing above average increases but more than 70 businesses have had their rates bills reduced since the increases were announced,” says Andy Boddington.

“One in nine Ludlow businesses will see a reduction in rateable value and the changes have moved three local businesses out of the business rate regime altogether,” he said.

“The reduction in rateable values for those businesses that pay rates under the current rules amounts to £120,000. That’s a 10.4 per cent reduction and good news for local companies and traders.

“Seventy-two businesses across Ludlow and Ludford have secured a cut in their rateable values and as a result, 40 of these have secured a cut in their future business rates. The other 32 are exempt from rates under current rules.

“Twenty-three local businesses have secured a reduction in rateable values. Twenty of these pay business rates under current rules and they get a reduction of £53,000 in rateable values in total.”

He has warned that smaller businesses current exempt from business rates should not be complacent as the situation could change in the future.