Policy & Resources Committee

27 June 2018


Discretionary Rate Relief – Kent Medical Campus Enterprise Zone


Final Decision-Maker

Policy and Resources Committee

Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

Stephen McGinnes, Mid Kent Services Director

Lead Officer and Report Author

Sheila Coburn, Head of Revenues and Benefits



Wards affected



Executive Summary


To approve a Policy for the award of Discretionary Rate Relief for properties in the Kent Medical Campus Enterprise Zone.



This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:


That the Policy attached as Appendix 1 to this report is approved.






Policy & Resources Committee

15 May 2018

Discretionary Rate Relief – Kent Medical Campus Enterprise Zone






1.1        There are a number of Enterprise Zones across the country. Their aim is to stimulate business growth in designated areas by providing financial incentives and simplified planning arrangements to businesses and to councils, provide jobs and drive local and national growth.


1.2        Kent Medical Campus (KMC) has been designated as an Enterprise Zone and forms part of North Kent Enterprise Zone. KMC provides a focus on healthcare, life sciences, med-tech, specialist residential and rehabilitation care, together with training facilities for the medical and health care professions.


1.3        A Memorandum of Understanding issued by the Ministry of Housing,

Communities and Local Government (formerly Department for Communities and Local Government) has been agreed with this authority.


1.4        As part of the financial incentives associated with an Enterprise Zone, Local authorities have the option to award up to 100% Discretionary Business Rates Relief up to the value of £275,000 over five years to any business which sets up operation within the enterprise zone area before 31 March 2022 and is eligible to receive the support within the State Aid De Minimis threshold.


1.5        The Government will reimburse Maidstone Borough Council the cost incurred in providing up to 100% Business Rates relief for up to 5 years.


1.6        To be able to award Discretionary Rate Relief, it is necessary for the council to adopt a policy.


1.7        Maidstone Borough Council can retain 100% of any Business Rate increase which accrues from the Enterprise Zone for a period of 25 years from the start date of the Enterprise Zone (1 April 2017) and will be unaffected by business rate reform, reset or redistribution for this period. The amount the authority retains is required to be redirected to support the development of the Enterprise Zone in the first instance, and initiatives to support enterprise and growth within the wider Maidstone borough area thereafter.






2.1        Option 1 – ‘Do nothing’ option

  The ‘do nothing’ option does not fall within the conditions of the  

  Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Housing, Communities

  and Local Government which expects the authority to provide up to a

  100% Business Rates relief.


2.2        Option 2 – Award 100% Discretionary Business Rates Relief to businesses that set up operations within the Enterprise Zone site before 31 March 2022 and comply with the policy criteria outlined in Appendix 1.




3.1        Option 2 is the preferred option. The awarding of 100% Discretionary Rate Relief for those businesses in the Enterprise Zone will be of no cost to Maidstone Borough Council as the Government will fully fund the cost of the relief and should be viewed as an opportunity to help stimulate investment and development on Kent Medical Campus.


3.2       Awarding the relief complies with the conditions set down in the

         Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretary of State and the         




4           RISK

4.1       The risks associated with this proposal, including the risks if the Council

does not act as recommended, have been considered in line with the Council’s Risk Management Framework. We are satisfied that the risks associated are within the Council’s risk appetite and will be managed as per the Policy.






5.1      Availability of the policy will be communicated on the council’s website, and

 promoted via the Business in Maidstone website and the dedicated Kent

 Medical Campus site operated by the agents for the site. 


5.2      As businesses set up within Kent Medical Campus, they will be

         informed of the availability of relief.


5.3      Applications will be considered upon completion of an application form.









Impact on Corporate Priorities

We do not expect the recommendations will by themselves materially affect achievement of corporate priorities. 


Sheila Coburn, Head of Revenues and Benefits

Risk Management

Already covered in the risk section

Sheila Coburn, Head of Revenues and Benefits


The proposals set out in the recommendation are all within already approved budgetary headings and so need no new funding for implementation.

[Section 151 Officer & Finance Team]


We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing.

Sheila Coburn, Head of Revenues and Benefits


Acting on the recommendations is within the Council’s powers as set out in Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988


 Keith Trowell, Interim Team Leader (Corporate Governance)

Privacy and Data Protection

Accepting the recommendations will increase the volume of data held by the Council.   The data will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection principles contained in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998.



 Keith Trowell, Interim Team Leader (Corporate Governance)


The implementation of this policy presents new opportunity in the borough for businesses.  It is important that the equalities impact is considered in order to ensure that this offer is widely communicated, in particular to reach seldom heard groups.

Equalities and Corporate Policy Officer

Crime and Disorder

No impact

Sheila Coburn, Head of Revenues and Benefits


No impact

Sheila Coburn, Head of Revenues and Benefits




The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·         Appendix 1: Discretionary Rate Relief Policy – Enterprise Zones