Rory Stewart MP Urges Businesses Not to Miss Out

On Friday 24 October Dodd & Co invited Rory Stewart MP for Penrith and the Border, property developer Ian Hall and representatives of Carlisle City Council to speak alongside Dodd & Co’s tax specialists at a seminar to discuss the fantastic range of new opportunities that the expansion of the “Assisted Areas Order” presents within our region.

Rory Stewart spoke to over 35 attendees about the areas affected by the 2014 extension of Assisted Area status into North Cumbria including Rockcliffe and Longtown. Rory emphasised how keen he is to ensure that the incentives created by government are utilised as fully as possible in supporting local economic activity. The message came across loud and clear that the Government doesn’t want this opportunity in the region to pass anyone by!

Assisted Area status is linked to the very generous Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA) tax relief, which provides significant tax breaks for renovating empty commercial properties and has now been extended by the government to projects taking place before March 2017. Kathryn Brown from Dodd & Co explained that there are a number of conditions to met, but that BPRA can turn an unattractive project into a viable one, particularly as it provides the opportunity for individuals to obtain up to 45% tax relief.  Developer Ian Hall took the delegates through an illustration of BPRA in practice and demonstrated that the availability of BPRA tax relief can potentially more than triple the expected yield on a project!

Carlisle City Council discussed some of its thoughts for commercial development and changes in Carlisle Centre and the rather thorny issue of business rates on empty properties was debated.

Dean Johnston, Dodd & Co’s tax partner, wrapped up the lively and engaged seminar by running through a number of tax issues on property transactions and taking us through the –surprising – tax planning opportunities made available by the new flexible rules on pensions.

A full map of the new areas covered by ‘Assisted Area’ status can be found here: http://www.ukassistedareasmap.com/

If you would like to discuss the opportunities presented by the new Assisted Areas order and extension of BPRA, or the tax issues surrounding property transactions in general, including the opportunities presented by the new flexible pension rules, please contact Dean Johnston or Kathryn Brown on 01228 530913.

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