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Crossrail funding threatens London’s revival, retailers warn

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:32 05 October 2010

LONDON’s economic revival risks being undermined by the hype in retailers’ contributions to fund Crossrail, top stores have warned. Demands made by City Hall on retailers to pay towards the £16bn project should be lower, the British Retail Consortium urges

By Mike Brooke

LONDON’s economic revival risks being undermined by the hype in retailers’ contributions to fund Crossrail, top stores have warned.

Demands made by City Hall on retailers to pay towards the £16 billion super tube’ project should be much lower, the British Retail Consortium urges.

Boris Johnson’s 2010 business rates revaluation announced on Friday means retailers start paying 41p-in-the-£ of their property rateable values from April 1, a five per cent rise.

“Requiring retailers to fund Crossrail disproportionately is wrong at any time,” said the Consortium’s environment director Tom Ironside.

“But it is especially ill-timed given weak consumer demand and high unemployment.

“Shops will only see benefit from their contributions by 2017 at the earliest, when the line opens, yet will continue funding the project until 2036!”

The Consortium estimates retailers are paying out £250 million in extra business rates before they see any benefits from Crossrail.

The Mayor announced last week the thresh-hold was being raised for his controversial Crossrail Supplementary rate, now only applying to businesses with rateable values above £55,000, instead of £50,000, letting small firms off the hook.


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