UK business rates putting off international retail investment

New research by shopping centre owner Intu and retail property firm Revo has found 75% of international retailers would expand elsewhere rather than the UK – largely in part to the current business rates regime.

International retailers found the UK enticing across 36 factors including its economic growth rate, approach to labour relations, low corporate tax rate and digital infrastructure but said one of the biggest downsides to UK investment was the current business rates system.

In all, 130 respondents took part in the research, collectively responsible for £1.5 trillion sales.

Reported in retail trade magazine Drapers, Intu chief executive David Fische said: “This research further confirms our long-held view that government needs to review the entire structure of business rates, which is currently a disincentive for inward investment and makes the UK uncompetitive,”

The full report went to Parliament earlier this week and has been picked up in several of the national, property and trade media.