SOME Pendle businesses could get discounted business rates under a new scheme being discussed by councillors.

Pendle Council’s executive committee will discuss the introduction of a new policy at their meeting tonight.

Under the policy businesses that move into retail premises which have been empty for at least one year will be given a 50 per cent discount for 18 months, while all occupied premises with a rateable value of £50,000 or less will be given a discount of up to £1,000.

Coun Linda Crossley, who oversees the council’s finances, said: “These proposed changes are all about finding ways to encourage retail businesses to fill our empty premises.

“If the council adopts the policy, businesses including restaurants, pubs and clubs could be awarded a discount.”

These discounts would be available to eligible businesses from April 1, 2014 for 2014/15 and 2015/16.