Council extend support for local businesses during tough economic climate

PUBLISHED: 14 March 2024

Colchester City Council is set to introduce a new Business Rates Discretionary Rate Relief policy from 1 April 2024, providing extra financial support for local businesses.

The policy will maximise the benefit of any government-funded rate reliefs locally, enabling the council’s business rates team to proactively award rate relief if a business meets the minimum criteria set by government. The policy will also make processes regarding backdating of payments fairer and simpler to understand. 

Colchester City Council has been proactive in applying for funding and forward-thinking in its approach to attract significant investment into the city in recent years. In this case, the council is ensuring government funding is used in the best way to enable economic growth in Colchester, providing support and opportunities to many local businesses. This includes:
  • UK Shared Prosperity Fund: £1.3m has been allocated to Colchester through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and will include a range of business support and skills programmes across Colchester.
  • Rural England Prosperity Fund: £532,195 has been awarded to Colchester through a new rural grant as part of the Government’s Levelling Up programme, providing investment into rural business and communities.
  • City Centre regeneration: The Government’s £19.2m Town Deal award is aimed at boosting the city’s economy by creating jobs, improving travel and digital connectivity, building new housing, and improving health outcomes through the delivery of the following current regeneration projects:
  • Other Town Deal projects are coming forward further down the pipeline including improving cycling infrastructure.
  • A further £20m Government investment is taking place regenerating the city through the Levelling Up programme which is earmarked for the redesign of St Botolph's Roundabout and a new heritage trail from the Castle, through St Botolph’s Priory to Colchester Town train station
  • Other Levelling Up projects are coming forward further down the pipeline including bringing heritage assets, such as Colchester's oldest standing building, back into public use. Creating a more attractive city for visitors and the conditions for business investment.

Cllr Mark Cory, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “In this tough economic climate, it is essential that we do everything we can to support our local businesses. Colchester, with the Council’s support, is a regional leader in supporting business growth and investment. The introduction of this policy allows us to really make the most of rate relief support funded by the Government, ensuring the Council continues to support local entrepreneurs, independent business and our working population across the city.
“The significant investment in Colchester’s economic growth is fantastic to see, but it often goes unnoticed. This shows that we have the support of government and external partners, who back our businesses. The Council will continue to facilitate regeneration, funding and business support in this challenging economic period.”

You can find out more about cost-of-living support for local businesses at

Page last reviewed: 14 March 2024


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