RETAIL businesses in Darlington could receive up to a third off their business rates as new discounts are introduced from March.

The changes could see some local retail businesses receiving a share of a £740,000 discount on their business rates for the next financial year.

Businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 could receive up to a third off their business rates, according to Darlington Borough Council.

Councillor Stephen Harker, council leader, said: “This is good news for business in Darlington and we estimate that £440,000 of the relief will benefit town centre businesses.

“This latest support by Government for local retail is welcomed but, as I have said before, there needs to be a full review of the Business Rates system to make it fairer and to help retailers who invest in our towns to compete on an equal footing with online businesses.

“We are working hard on many levels with local and national businesses, and particularly with town centre businesses, to help them thrive in what are difficult times. In addition to our town centre partnership and events team, our Business Support team is on hand to offer advice and help where needed.”

Call 01325-406305 for details or email