North Yorkshire together with West Yorkshire has been successful in a bid to Government that sees the county become part of a business rate retention scheme that is helping to develop economic growth and support vital council services in the region.
North Yorkshire, with the county’s district councils, the City of York and West Yorkshire authorities, bid for councils to retain business rate growth to plough back into key benefits for the county.
Benefits could include initiatives such as greater digital connectivity, support for trade and investment and infrastructure, housing growth and major cultural and sporting events, such as the regional, national and international cycling championships.
The North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire authorities will trial the retention and pooling of business rate growth. This is expected to bring in nearly £23m for the expanded membership, which will be able to retain 75 per cent of business rate growth. Half of this will go towards fostering regional and economic growth and half to support the financial stability of member authorities.
“This is a really significant example of collaborative working,” said County Councillor Carl Les, North Yorkshire’s Leader. “Together we have developed an approach that will both promote economic growth and support many services that the public values most.
“We have been charged with being innovative and forward-thinking in our continuing efforts to provide high-quality public services in the face of reducing budgets and I believe that is exactly what we have done.”
The pool area has a population of 3.1 million people and an annual economic output of £70.3bn, with 1.4 million jobs and 137,000 businesses. At almost 4,000 square miles, it covers eight per cent of England.
“This will only serve to strengthen our collaboration and the Yorkshire brand,” Cllr Les added. “Increasingly, councils in Yorkshire want to work together to support the delivery of vital services and to place Yorkshire firmly on the map as an economic and cultural powerhouse.”