Entrepreneurs who give new life to derelict shops in rundown parts of Sussex will be given tax breaks to help survive the first crucial year.

Chancellor Gordon Brown announced a new allowance for people who renovate shops in Marine, Moulsecoomb and Queen's Park in Brighton and Hove, which are among the country's 2,000 most deprived wards.

Also in line for Government help are Central St Leonards, Castle, Gensing, Hollington, Broomgrove, Mount Pleasant, Maze Hill, Ore, Braybrooke and Wishing Tree in Hastings and Littlehampton River and Littlehampton Ham in Arun.

Every penny a business owner spends bringing the property back into use can be written-off against their tax bill in the first year of opening.

This means that if a new business spends £100,000 renovating a rundown old shop and makes £150,000 in the first year, it will only pay tax on the £50,000 profit.

Under current rules, businesses have to claim tax breaks on capital costs over a number of years.

In his pre-Budget review, Mr Brown also sought to appease angry council taxpayers by channelling more money to local authorities.

He announced that from next April, he would give local authorities across the UK an additional £406 million, with councils in England getting £340 million of that.

Thursday December 11, 2003