Town centre FAQs

We often see the same questions, comments and misconceptions coming up again and again during debates around the town centre. Here you'll find a list of those questions and the answers - which we hope will set the record straight on these issues once and for all.

Why can't you reduce business rates?

Business rates are a national tax on non-domestic properties which is set by the Government. It is based on the rateable value of a property and is not set by Tamworth Borough Council.

Tamworth Borough Council has a legal duty to collect business rates on behalf of the Government, but only around 10% of the total business rates income collected is retained locally by Tamworth Borough Council.

Properties with a rateable value of less than £12,000 qualify for Small Business Rates Relief and do not have to pay any business rates.

Tamworth Borough Council advisors can help businesses find out what rates would be payable before they take on a new premises. Businesses looking for advice on suitable town centre units can email business@tamworth.gov.uk or call 01827 709525.

For more information on business rates, please visit www.tamworth.gov.uk/business-rates.

Why can't you reduce business rents?

Tamworth Borough Council owns 18 commercial units in the town. The majority are currently let, but three of these are vacant and are we are looking at how they can be brought back into use as part of longer-term regeneration. The rest are owned by a variety of private landlords who decide their own rents. We can not set or determine the rents for any other town centre businesses.

Why don't you reduce parking charges?

Car parking charges represent a valuable income stream for Tamworth Borough Council amid increasing pressure and demand on services and reduced Government funding. You can park free of charge for one hour in the car park off Lichfield Street next to Riversmeet Veterinary Service. Parking at the Jolly Sailor Car Park is just £1.50 for a whole day. For more information on Tamworth Borough Council parking charges visit www.tamworth.gov.uk/parking-charges.

What advice and support is available for my business?

Tamworth Borough Council offers a wide variety of support and advisory services to businesses in the town, including advice on starting up, finding suitable premises, funding opportunities and going for growth. We do this through our Economic Development Regeneration Team, Tamworth and Lichfield for Business and Tamworth Enterprise Centre. We also offer start-up grants to help businesses grow in their first three years. More information is available at www.tamworth.gov.uk/business-advice.

EDRT - Tamworth Borough Council offers a range of support and advice services to help businesses start up and grow. The Economic Development Regeneration Team is a dedicated resource that aims to support local businesses and work towards managed growth across the town. This includes building relationships, networking events and signposting towards funding streams. For more information on business advice, visit www.tamworth.gov.uk/business-advice.

TLfB - Tamworth and Lichfield for Business is a joint initiative between Tamworth Borough Council and Lichfield District Council which also offers a range of support to businesses across the area. This includes support with skills, grants and starting up. Visit http://tlforbusiness.co.uk.

TEC – Tamworth Enterprise Centre offers serviced office space and virtual offices for small businesses on flexible contracts at affordable rates. Businesses can also access tailored support from a variety of providers; all designed to help fledgling companies reach the next level. The centre also offers a variety of facilities such as touchdown areas and meeting rooms for hire at affordable prices. For more information visit www.tamworthenterprisecentre.co.uk.

Business start-up grants - Grants of up to £1,500 are available to help small businesses get off the ground and grow to the next level in their first three years of operation. This has successfully supported a number of businesses in recent years. For more information visit www.tamworth.gov.uk/start-up-business-grant-scheme.

What are you doing to fill vacant units?

Tamworth Borough Council is always looking for opportunities to attract new investors and businesses to the town, but ultimately we do not have power or control over properties which we do not own. Attracting big names to town centres is increasingly challenging in today’s changing retail environment which has seen a number of large high street chains fold in recent years. What we can focus on is making Tamworth an attractive a prospect as possible for external investors and this includes exploring all the options in the face of changing retail habits.

We also operate a Conservation Grants Scheme to help owners of listed and historic buildings in the town centre to maintain and reinstate important features of the town’s heritage. For more information please visit www.tamworth.gov.uk/grants-available-improvements-historic-buildings.