Debts written off include money owed by former Blackpool Star Trek attraction

The Star Trek exhibition on Blackpool Promenade
The Star Trek exhibition on Blackpool Promenade
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Town hall chiefs have written off more than £300,000 of unpaid business rates due to failed ventures including shops, hotels and pubs.

Further debts of more than £32,000 have also been cancelled including from a Star Trek exhibition on the Promenade.

Coun Simon Blackburn

Coun Simon Blackburn

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said while the vast majority of businesses did pay on time, it was inevitable each year some would collapse.

He said: "We do not want to write off debt and our specialist team actively pursue those businesses that do not pay, through the courts if necessary.

“The vast majority of businesses do pay on time and we made a significant improvement to collection last year.

“However, owing to the large number of businesses, it is a fact of life that some will cease to trade each year for a variety of reasons and money simply cannot be collected. "

The business rates written off add up to £316,499 for the period between October 2017 and March 2018, representing 0.67 per cent of the full amount collected.

Other debts written off add up to £32,709 and include more than £27,000 owed in rental from the Star Trek exhibition.

The attraction's parent company Kuma Exhibitions went into liquidation last November, but the display is still up and running under new ownership.

Star Trek fan Martin Netter took it over in March after agreeing a £150,000 deal.

Among the ventures which have had business rates written off is Ma Kelly's South on Lytham Road, which owed £14,256.

A sum of £13,474 owed by jewellery wholesaler CL Edwards was also written off.

The company, which had offices on Amy Johnston Way at Squires Gate, closed its doors last year after more than 60 years.

Of the 16 businesses which have had rates written off, seven were shops, three were hotels, two were pubs and four were office premises.

Coun Blackburn said most businesses did trade successfully in the resort.

He added: "In terms of businesses that are on the business rates write off list, this is an extremely low number compared to the huge number and variety of businesses that are operating successfully.

“New businesses continue to set up in the town and the huge investment and developments that are being undertaken in Blackpool will attract more companies and trade.”

The losses will be shared more or less evenly between the council and the government which at the moment shares the revenue from business rates.

The total is less than last time round when the council had to write off around £690,000 of business rates in November last year.