Chancellor Philip Hammond has pledged to extend a business rate cut scheme for the local press which was launched in a bid to bring newspapers back to town centres.
Mr Hammond has announced the extension of the scheme, which offers a discount of £1,500 per office in England, for a further year.
Mr Hammond joked in the House of Commons he had been assured of a “warm welcome” for this afternoon’s Budget from the regional press, in contrast to “whatever the national press says”, as a result.
The rate cut scheme was introduced by his predecessor George Osborne for an initial two-year period and took effect from April 2017.
The move followed a consultation carried out in 2015 which held out the prospect of a “temporary boost” for local newspapers as they adapted to structural change in the industry.
Mr Hammond told the House: “I will extend the £,1500 local newspaper discount for a further year.
“Whatever the national press says, I’ve been assured of a warm welcome for my Budget in the Royston Crow and the Keswick Reminder.”