Kirkgate Market traders get rates refund

Image caption, A review of market rents is under way

Traders who are concerned for the future of a Leeds market have won a 10% reduction in their business rates.

Stall holders claim high rents are driving them away from the Kirkgate Market, causing it to become run down.

Traders in the market's 1976 hall urged HM Revenue and Customs to reduce their rates because of the number of empty units in that part of the market.

They will also get a refund of 10% of their rates from the past three years, but traders said they needed more help.

Stall holder Robert Burns said the rebate "will make a difference" but the money was a small amount compared to the high rents still being paid.

He said: "We need something substantial with the rent as well."

Rent review

Business rates are set by the Valuation Office Agency for HM Revenue and Customs and are paid through the city council to the government.

The city council has agreed to review rent charges at the market and has asked the Valuation office agency to conduct the assessment.

Councillor Mark Dobson said: "This is a financial boost for those traders running businesses in what are currently difficult economic circumstances.

"The initiative from tenants to obtain this refund has shown a real willingness of the traders to work together to achieve a common purpose, and I am very pleased to see this community spirit is alive and well in the market."

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