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Bradford Chamber of Trade's call over £35m growth fund
7:00am Monday 29th October 2012 in News
A traders’ group in Bradford has reacted with disappointment to news that established businesses will not get rates relief support offered under the £35 million City Centre Growth Zone scheme.
The Telegraph & Argus exclusively revealed last Friday how the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills had approved the regeneration scheme, which is aimed at creating thousands of jobs through a rate relief scheme to attract new and growing businesses.
The strategy is planned to bring in 2,800 jobs in retail and construction, of which 2,500 are through the Westfield shopping centre.
It is being funded through a combination of £17.6 million from the Government's Regional Growth Fund and £17.2 million from Bradford Council. But Bradford Chamber of Trade secretary Val Summerscales said: “It is disappointing that businesses that are still in long leases, that have continued to trade with difficulties because of the delayed Westfield, won’t get similar support. We need to look at ways that we can help those businesses as well.
“They will get the ongoing benefit if the city centre is regenerated, but we have got to bear in mind that they have been trading under difficulties for the last few years and they need similar support to help kick-start their businesses as well.”
Bradford Council leader, Councillor David Green, said existing businesses would benefit from empty shops being brought back into use.
He said: “We appreciate that many businesses in Bradford city centre have gone through some hard times, but clearly this isn’t a blanket business rate relief scheme.
“We will continue to look at existing businesses on a case-by-case basis in terms of any business rate relief applications we get.”