MID and East Antrim Borough Council will continue to lobby the Department for Communities (DfC) to increase the Rates Support Grant, which contributes significantly to developing and enhancing the area’s economy and public services.
The system governing the Rates Support Grant is expected to be reviewed over the next twelve months.
Mid and East Antrim is one of seven councils in Northern Ireland allocated the grant, which is a measure of financial assistance applied to adjust for additional needs in a particular area.
Each council’s needs are determined by adjusting the population estimate and the grant also takes account of other factors including socio-economic deprivation.
Councillors at this month’s Full Council meeting agreed the Chief Executive, Anne Donaghy, should continue to engage the Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey, to raise the Rates Support Grant, which has seen a reduction of 22.5% since being introduced in 2012.
Councillors agreed the borough has been particularly affected by significant job losses in recent years, while the Department of Finance Reval 2020 review of business rates in Northern Ireland had been acutely felt in the local area.
The council reiterated their position on the need for an increase to the Rates Support Grant during a recent “positive” meeting with the Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey, and will continue to call for the grant to be awarded to a more equitable level suited to the borough’s particular situation, a council press release said.