New lease of life for empty
Georgian properties in Liverpool
A row of empty Grade II Listed Georgian
Town Houses in the sought after cultural quarter of Liverpool are set to be
brought back into use as part of a major drive to tackle vacant properties in
The 9 properties on Percy Street, which are owned by Liverpool City Council and
leased to Sanctuary Group, have been empty for a number of years and are in need
of investment to bring them back into use.
The accommodation, which has previously been converted into a mix of one and
2-bedroom apartments, will be marketed in mid-March with the aim of selecting a
developer by early summer this year.
Selection of the chosen developer will focus on the proposed use of the
properties, experience of delivering similar projects and timescales for the
works to be complete.
Councillor Ann O'Byrne, Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for Housing at
Liverpool City Council, said:- "These striking period properties have
remained unoccupied for too long, and we are determined to find a way of
returning them to their intended use as soon as possible.
We are pleased to be working in partnership with Sanctuary to make sure they
become occupied again and complement the area.
This is part of our 10 point plan to really drive up the standard, range and
quality of homes in Liverpool. We have already brought 1,500 properties back
into use over the last couple of years, and have plans for another 2,000 over
the next few years. The marketing of the properties in Percy Street is a
good example of our innovative approach to tackling the problem of long term
Helen Wright, Project Director at Sanctuary Group, added:- "We have been
working hard with the council to find a way forward for this project and are
delighted to now be at a stage where the properties can go to market. We are
confident their sale will help breathe new life into the accommodation and
preserve the heritage of these buildings."
The successful purchaser will be required to start on site with the works as
soon as possible and have the properties back in use within a year.
Raise National Insurance
threshold to help low earners says ACCA ahead of next week's Budget
CALL for Chancellor to take more action to help the lowest
paid tops ACCA Budget wishlist, alongside promise of protections for vital
public services. The Chancellor should use next week's Budget to raise the
threshold at which people begin to pay National Insurance says accountancy body
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).
ACCA is urging the Chancellor to use his final Budget of this Parliament to make
a real difference to the both individuals and businesses. At the top of his list
should be to raise the National Insurance threshold. Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of
taxation at ACCA said:- "Since the election in 2010 the government has
taken steps to take many of the lowest paid out of income tax, with the
threshold scheduled to potentially reach £12,500. However anyone earning £153 a
week, equivalent to less than £8,000 per year, still has to pay NICs (National
If the government is serious about helping the lowest paid they should raise the
level at which they start paying NICs. At present those earning between £7,956
and £41,865 pay 12% of their earnings in NICs, making the amount potentially
saved by the lowest paid extremely significant.
In addition, raising the threshold could actually save the Government money in
the long term as many of the lowest paid would be entitled to less in benefits
such as housing support."
ACCA is also calling on the Chancellor to use the budget on 18 March to remove
the principle private residence from inheritance tax, as Chas Roy-Chowdhury
explains:- "House prices in the UK have become almost recession proof.
They keep rising year on year, but the point at which inheritance tax is paid
has risen little in the past decade. We are now at the point where, in many
areas of the country, the average house price is far above the threshold, and
despite paying the taxes and charges that are associated with owning a property
your loved ones are left with a hefty tax bill when inheriting the property."
The Chancellor should also take this opportunity to extend the Government growth
vouchers scheme before the General Election says Chas Roy-Chowdhury:-
"Under the scheme small businesses can get up to £2,000 worth of free finance
advice, offering a lifeline to many at a time when a lack of available finance
is often cited as the main barrier to growth for small businesses.
The growth vouchers scheme is due to end on 31 March and has helped up to 20,000
UK small businesses. Extending the scheme would send a clear signal that this
Government backs enterprise ahead of the General Election in May."
Alongside the progressive reforms outlined by Chas Roy-Chowdhury; ACCA's head of
public sector, Gillian Fawcett is calling for greater clarity in terms of public
sector spending:- "The Chancellor must lay out in clear terms how the
Government plans to protect the core public services relied upon by the most
vulnerable in society from further swingeing budget cuts.
If the rumours of another £70bn of cuts turn out to be true they could have a
devastating impact on the financial viability of some public services. The
Chancellor needs to take this opportunity to set out credible plans on how he
proposes to ensure financial sustainability to 2020 and beyond while continuing
to bring down the tax burden, as he has promised.
The demands placed on the public purse by an ageing population have the
potential to burst the public sector financing bubble unless the Chancellor acts
quickly and decisively to address the situation."