East Lindsey District Council has today (March 6) approved its budget for 2019/20 which includes a £5m allocation for improved leisure facilities, the adoption of a Business Rates discount scheme for retail businesses, and funding to undertake preparations to bring forward a further 10 hectares of employment land on the Fairfield Industrial Estate in Louth.
At the same time, a council spokesman said ELDC has ensured its Council Tax rate remains one of the lowest in the country, with an increase of 9.5p per week for an average ‘Band D’ property.
While the district council continues to be faced with significant financial challenges over the coming years, growing the economy of the area remains a priority and the move to offer a Business Rates discount to eligible retailers could benefit almost 500 businesses across the district.
The council has also allocated £5million for investment in modern leisure facility in Mablethorpe, through the redevelopment of Station Sports Centre.
The investment, which will be led by Magna Vitae, aims to create a sustainable health and wellbeing facility for the community of Mablethorpe and surrounding area.
Other key announcements in the budget include:
• Additional income from commercial activities guided by ELDC’s adopted Financial Sustainability Strategy.
• Increased capital investment in council assets to help generate more income, reduce maintenance and other running costs and help deliver services more efficiently.
• Support for the council’s reserves and help protect against future volatility in Business Rates income.
ELDC’s Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor Richard Fry, said: “We are well aware of the financial challenges we face, and will continue to face for years to come, as funding from Government continues to reduce. However, I’m hugely positive about this budget and the ways we continue to work towards our key priorities of supporting the district’s most vulnerable residents, growing the economy of the area and providing the services we have to by law.
“We continue to perform well and the introduction of rates relief for retailers and our continued investments alongside our leisure and culture partners Magna Vitae, including the planned investment in the leisure facilities at Mablethorpe, are all a credit to the Council.
“As we move forward we have to look to increase the amount of income we generate and will be guided by our new Financial Sustainability Strategy as we do this.”