Welsh Government holds strong line following latest plea from Debenhams for special support

(Title Image: © Copyright Robin Drayton and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-2.0)

Debenhams has written to the Welsh Government again, demanding that they reconsider a decision to only offer business rate relief to those with a rateable value of under £500,000.

The company warned that four stores in Newport, Swansea, Cardiff and Llandudno were under threat of closure because of business rates, though agreements have been reached to keep Swansea and Newport open.

The company – which entered administration for the second time in a year in April – is currently negotiating business rate deferrals and rent cuts with landlords as part of a company voluntary agreement.

Debenhams has already confirmed that their Merthyr Tydfil store won’t reopen when the Welsh Government decides to ease lockdown restrictions due to a failure to agree to a deal with landlords.

While saying they would respond to the request “in due course”, the Welsh Government told BBC Wales: “While we know how important Debenhams stores are to our town centres, this is a business facing its third insolvency process in 12 months….Taxpayers are already providing more than £1million in rates relief support to Debenhams across Wales.”

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