North East Wales

Rhyl rates under review as trade hit, say Chris Ruane MP

A Marks and Spencer store
Image caption All 55 M&S staff transferred to Prestatyn where an extra 50 jobs have also been created

Officials are reviewing business rates in Rhyl as retailers and other firms report a drop in trade since the opening of a shopping development in a neighbouring town.

Next and Marks and Spencer relocated to Prestatyn when the new complex opened in March.

MP Chris Ruane said Rhyl had been hit hard by the departure of the stores.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), part of the HM Revenue and Customs, says its decision will be announced soon.

"Like many retailers across the UK those in Rhyl have had an extremely difficult time over the past few years," said Mr Ruane, MP for Vale of Clwyd.

"However, those in Rhyl have also been hit hard by the departure of Marks and Spencer and Next and we need to find a way to offer them support."

Businesses can appeal to the VOA to reduce the amount they have to pay in rates for council-run public services if they think it is too much.

Mr Ruane and the forum which is made up of businesses have met with the VOA over the past year providing figures on footfall and trade and filling out appeal forms.

A VOA spokesperson said: "The Valuation Office Agency has been pro-actively reviewing the business rates values in Rhyl town centre as the result of the opening of a new retail development in nearby Prestatyn.

"We cannot comment on individual cases, however we will be contacting ratepayers shortly with our decision."

The Parc Prestatyn development, which includes a Tesco supermarket, is expected to create 675 jobs.

All 55 M&S staff transferred from Rhyl to Prestatyn, four miles (6.5km) away, where an extra 50 jobs have also been created.

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