Merton Council has been praised for its decision to cut business rates around the borough.

Around 600 businesses across Mitcham, Morden, Colliers Wood and Wimbledon are poised to benefit from having their rates cut in half .

The money-saving Business Rate Relief Discount, which the council can award to reduce the financial burden on businesses with a lower rateable value, will see retailers, music venues and cinemas all get a 50 per cent discount on their business rates in 2020.

In a further move to delight landlords, around 30 pubs in the area also stand to have £1,000 taken off their business rate bills, after the re-introduction of the Government’s Pub Relief scheme.

This was welcome news for the chairman of the CAMRA South West London branch, Mark Bravery

He said: ""Pubs, despite being important community hubs, already pay a disproportionate amount in business rates, and those in locations such as Wimbledon town centre face very high bills, so we would be delighted to see Merton Council doing the right thing and relieving some of this burden."

To qualify for the Pub Relief the rateable value of the premises has to be up to £100,000.

Merton Council Leader, Stephen Alambritis added: “Even on their own, both these schemes offer practical savings to the small businesses that we want to thrive in the borough.

“Taken together, they show that establishing and running a business here is good financial sense – with support guaranteed from the local council to reduce the burden to smaller firms and retailers, which need our support. We’re very keen to push this decision through as quickly as possible so we can get on with applying the discounts.”

To qualify for the Council’s rate relief scheme, the ratepayer must be in occupation of a property with a rateable value under £51,000. The discount is available to a host of business types, from shops and kiosks to garden centres, dry cleaners, hair salons and restaurants.