April 1 sees the end of Empty Property Relief for vacant commercial and industrial properties.

Commenting on the removal of the relief, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"We are very concerned that removing tax relief on empty buildings will act as a brake on regeneration in many of the country's most deprived areas.

"The relief was an incentive for businesses to bring empty commercial and industrial property back into use and it has benefited many of the poorest communities.

"At a stroke, the government's new policy will hit disadvantaged areas and create financial insecurity for companies currently in possession of empty properties. This is little more than another tax hike on business."