Government measures aid looted businesses

Published:  12 August, 2011

UK: The British Property Federation has welcomed a package of measures unveiled by Government to help businesses recover from four days of rioting and looting across the UK.

The measures announced today included £30m funding to repair high streets, an extra 28 days for businesses to claim for damages they have suffered - even if uninsured, an exemption from business rate liability for the worst hit properties and a fast track planning regime to bring these buildings back into use.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: "These measures are extremely welcome and will give businesses hope that in affected areas life can quickly return to normal.

"If, as it appears, the removal of rates liability for substantially damaged buildings is also to be given to empty properties that have been rendered uninhabitable then this is also extremely positive."

The BPF expressed particular concern at the impact the riots had on small and medium-sized firms, which often form the economic backbone of local communities, but warned against scaremongering over the impact the violence may have on the wider property industry or its ability to generate investment in UK towns and cities.

Liz Peace said: "While it is still early days, we would very much hope that the property industry's ability and appetite for delivering much-needed and sustainable development in UK towns and cities will remain strong."

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