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Tunbridge Wells council is giving discounted rates for businesses moving into premises that have been empty for a year or more

By Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas

A new government scheme could see empty retail units given a fresh start in Tunbridge Wells town centre.

The local council is now able to offer business rate relief to businesses moving into shops that have been empty for a year or more.

The scheme is set up as an incentive to encourage retailers to choose the empty properties and boost the local economy.

The former ABC Cinema became a 'grot spot' of the town before the building was demolished

It provides a 50% rate discount for 18 months until March 2016.

Councillor Mike Rusbridge said: "As a boost to our local economy we need our empty shops brought back into use and I hope that this scheme gives businesses the incentive to do so. We are open for business."

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