Budget cuts mean high hopes for city centre retail developments

The Grosvenor House Hotel is currently being demolished to make way for Phase 1 of Sheffield’s new retail quarter

Sheffield City Council are hoping that the new retail quarter’s business rates can fill any forthcoming fall in Government funding.  The council’s main source of income is set to plummet by £23m in the 2017/18 tax year.

The forthcoming budget for Sheffield is set to be reliant on local business rates, with an expectation that new city centre developments will fill the deficit predicted.

Business premises in Sheffield are capable of bringing in £544 million in business rates tax per year. However, only a portion of these 18,500 premises are in use and being taxed.

Furthermore, with 50% of business rates going to the Government, and a further 1% to the South Yorkshire Fire Authority, a taking of just £96.7 million is predicted for the next tax year, 2017/18.

Phase one of the retail quarter and enterprise zone is already underway, with the demolition of the Grosvenor House Hotel on Charter Square. HSBC will become the six-storey office blocks main tenant, while John Lewis is predicted to be the key anchor tenant involved in phase 2. The retail quarter as a whole is predicted to provide an income of £3 million, with a further £5.4 million from the forthcoming enterprise zone.

However, businesses ability to appeal against rate valuations set by the council, mean that unpredictable loses are likely. The 1,500 business premises under appeal at the end of 2016 may mean significant loses for the city.

A final version of the city’s budget is due to be announced in March.