The UK Cinema Association has today welcomed an announcement by Government that should this year see a significant number of cinemas in England benefit from a business rates discount of up to 50 per cent.

The move, announced in a statement by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (statement here) will affect cinemas with a rateable value of less than £51,000, and follows a long campaign by the Association for a reduction in the level of business rates levied on its members.

While the full implications of the announcement are still being worked through, the announcement was welcomed by the Association, with Chief Executive Phil Clapp commenting:

‘Business rates have in recent years become an increasing and in some cases unsustainable burden for many of our members, who we believe are often now expected to make a disproportionate contribution to local authority funds. Given the role played by each cinema as a driver of the local economy as well as a key community and cultural resource, and at a time when many other leisure and retail opportunities are disappearing, this seems entirely counter-productive.

Any move to reduce the current business rates burden is therefore welcome and one we hope will be taken up by Government counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, But in truth this change will only provide temporary respite – we look forward to finding a more long-term solution through the promised more fundamental review of the current business rates regime.’