Last week, we heard what I thought was an incredibly positive Budget from the Chancellor, writes Ben Bradley MP.
It included a number of things that will be really positive for our area in particular, especially for our High Street.
We’ve had a lot of challenges obviously, and High Street retail around the whole UK has had a tough time as people choose to shop online.
But the Budget included a number of opportunities for small retailers to get back in business.
One of the most common complaints from business owners is often about business rates.
And from the Budget, 90 per cent of small independent retailers will see a 33 per cent discount in the rates for next year.
That’s a saving of up to £8,000 to help them stay afloat, and to attract new business to the town centre.
It’s been a long time evoking, but it will help.
There’s also a £675 million Future High Streets Fund, something that I lobbied for myself, that will see between £5 million and £15 million made available specifically for Mansfield to regenerate the town centre, provided that the council can put together a proper plan to submit to the Treasury.
I hope that this will put even more pressure on the council to get moving on their planning for the future.
The second thing I asked for, and which was also included in the Budget, was support for community facilities like village halls and miners’ welfare’s that were once the heart of communities.
With a bit of love they could be again, and I’m particularly interested in supporting the sports facilities that are often run by the welfare’s, to get more young people involved in sport and to get Mansfield moving.
The £8 million made available in the Budget can help, especially when combined with money from other organisations, and I look forward to finding out how the town can get hold of some of this cash.
I’m raising local issues with Government every day, and it’s great to see this success and some of my ‘asks’ being answered in the Budget.
I’ll keep working hard for our area.