FUW welcomes minister’s move on rates relief for hydro projects

A grAnt scheme announced by Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and rural Affairs Lesley griffiths will bring welcome relief for those impacted by massive hikes in business rates on small-scale hydro developments.

The scheme, announced in February, will provide support equivalent to a cap on the increase in business rates for small-scale developments of 10 per cent, or £1,000 where there was no previous liability.

The scheme will also provide 100 per cent relief for community hydro-projects with a rateable value of up to £50,000.
richard rees of north Wales Hydro Power said the increase in business rates faced by Welsh hydro scheme operators had been ‘huge and illogical’.

“We are delighted that Welsh government have acknowledged this and that they have introduced a grant scheme to allow hydro operators in Wales to reclaim significant Business rates expenditure.”

Welcoming the move, FUW Land Use committee chair gavin Williams said: “It’s widely acknowledged that we need to generate more renewable energy, and such schemes also provide an important alternative source of income for farms and communities.

“Unfortunately the system often throws up obstacles to such developments, so it’s great to see a barrier being removed and local benefits restored. the minister’s move is very welcome.”

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