Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 3°C


How the budget aims to breathe new life into our high streets

PUBLISHED: 08:40 30 October 2018

Colchester High Street. Picture: Jessica Hill

Colchester High Street. Picture: Jessica Hill


A raft of new policies were announced in the budget to address Britain’s high streets woes.

Terry BaxterTerry Baxter

A new 2% digital services tax on UK revenues of big technology companies with global sales of more than £500m will redress the balance to give a much-needed boost to bricks and mortar traders.

In a move that will also be welcomed by shop, hotel and restaurant owners, business rates bill for firms with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will be cut by third over two years.

And £650m was pledged for what Mr Hammond called “the transformation of high Streets” from commercial into residential areas, as well as to increase footfall, as he acknowledged that the changes the High Street are facing are “irreversible.”

Terry Baxter, chairman of Ipswich Central which operates Ipswich’s Business Improvement District (BID), said he agreed with Mr Hammond that the High Street needs to be redeveloped. “Its important that town centres become more experiential, not just purely about the retail offered.

“The devil is in the detail, but the fact that the High Street has been given this attention by central government is a very welcome move.

“The tax on online retailers is important in order to level the playing field without directly affecting the consumers. It will help to a point to rebalance the sense of unfairness that exists with retailers.”

Southwold hit the headlines last year when rates rocketed by an average of 177%.

Chapmans Gifts and Cards in Southwold have seen their business rates increase by 400% in the past couple of years, and co-owner Pete Hart said: “It’s all well and good decreasing rates by a third, but a third of 400% is still a lot to pay.

“I think we need an overhaul of business rates as a whole. It’s an archaic idea to tax businesses on their properties, we should be taxed on turnover or profit.”

On the Future High Streets fund, he added: “Anything to support the high street is welcome, but I doubt places like Southwold will see any of it. Until we see the details we can’t be sure of the impact it will have.”

In another move to help boost town centres, business rates relief was announced for all lavatories made available for public use.

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

Police have warned of the dangers of drug use after finding empty canisters of laughing gas by a Suffolk village hall.

Bailey hasn’t had the best start to life and hopes someone can give him the loving home he deserves. Watch our video of him playing with his favourite toy.

Crowds watched in awe as a 50ft Christmas tree was lifted into place on the newly renovated Ipswich Cornhill, just in time for the festival period.

David Kindred takes a look at past building sites around Ipswich before the introduction of health and safety including St Margaret’s church and Fore Street.

A lorry driver has been arrested after his heavy goods vehicle crashed into the central reservation on the A14 at Ipswich.

Walkers crisps, frozen mash, children’s shoes, and wine from John Lewis are a few of the many items which are being recalled. Check the list and make sure you don’t have these products in your home.

Police have discovered the body of a missing teenager in Lakenheath.

Children’s authors took centre stage in a question and answer session in Ipswich.

Highways England is to resurface a stretch of uneven road which has been causing major delays for motorists on the A14.

From a new restaurant opening in Ipswich to finding out which Suffolk road is in the top 10 of riskiest roads in the East of England.

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24