Who pays more rates?

Lancaster Town Hall.
Lancaster Town Hall.

There has been some debate about the relative contribution of large businesses and market stalls to the finances of Lancaster City Council. Lets look at some facts:

Widely acknowledged to be one of the most expensive retail units in the city centre, the old Next shop on the corner of Market Street and Penny Street has been empty for some time.

Looking at the website of the letting agents, Jones Lang Lasalle, it appears that the annual business rate bill for this unit is £82,440, for a ground floor retail area of 2,158 square feet. Potentially it is possible for this shop to be open for 363 days in a non-leap year, (closed Christmas Day and Easter Sunday). The rent can be disregarded for the purposes of this calculation as none of this goes to the City Council.

£82,440 divided by 2,158 gives a figure of £38.20 per square foot per year.

£38.20 divided by 363 gives a figure of 10.5 pence per square foot per day.

But the City Council only receives 40 per cent of the business rate income, so for each square foot of this particular retail unit the city council receives only 4.2 pence for every day that is open.

The current rent for a market stall is 12.5 pence per square foot per day.

BIG BUSINESS – 4.2 pence per day per square foot paid to Lancaster City Council.

MARKET TRADER – 12.5 pence per day per square foot paid to Lancaster City Council.

Who is working harder to contribute to the local economy?

Name and address supplied.