Commercial Property Advisors (CPA), specialists on winning rates reductions, has campaigned long and hard for the survival of our town centres.
As even our biggest high street stores are closing, the future of our high streets depends increasingly on local, often independent, initiatives, for continued footfall. CPA firmly believes that the arts, recreation and entertainment will enjoy a revival, as the public seeks new reasons to come back into town.
Thus, it came as a pleasant surprise to learn that the Budget has awarded a much-needed business rates holiday to our theatres, which are often independently operated, or funded by local authorities. This financial help will prove a lifeline for cultural events, at a time when the Covid-19 virus is threatening footfall throughout the UK.
The unique experience of live entertainment is precious to the quality of our social life. Importantly, it provides a training ground for young actors to practise their skills before venturing into the world of television and the cinema. Michael Sheen, Richard Burton, and Michael Caine all cut their teeth by treading the boards, and this is probably why they have avoided typecasting, and been recognised by Hollywood moguls.
So well done, Mr Sunak! Thanks for giving our local theatres a break, by making rates relief available to them, and not letting the curtain fall on our town centres!