From 1 April 2017, all Greater Manchester district Councils are taking part in a pilot scheme to retain all Business Rates revenues within the local area. Similar pilot schemes have been set up elsewhere in the country. The Government is planning to roll out full Business Rates retention nationally by the end of the decade.
Under the Greater Manchester Pilot, the Council will continue to collect Business Rates from businesses in Oldham. Oldham Council will retain 99% of those revenues to fund local services whilst 1% will continue to be paid to the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority (GMFRA).
In exchange for full Business Rates Retention, the Government will no longer pay Revenue Support Grant or Public Health Grant to the Council. At the start of the pilot scheme, the Council will receive the same amount of funding to pay for local services as it would have had it if had not participated in the pilot. Taking part does, however, provide an opportunity to retain a greater share of growth in Business Rates revenues instead of having to pay 50% to Central Government.