A council has scrapped business rates for new start-ups and flexible work spaces.

To support new businesses, particularly in the creative sector, Waltham Forest Council has passed legislation allowing open workspaces to pay nothing in business rates.

From this financial year, flexible workspaces for small businesses and start-ups will be exempt from paying business rates for the first 12 months of operation.

The amount of business rates workspaces will have to pay with then go up by 15 per cent for the next four years.

After five years full business rates will be payable.

It is hoped the decision will make running a new business easier for local entrepreneurs, as owners of business premises pass on savings by reducing their rent.

Local employment is at an all-time high at 81 per cent in Waltham Forest.

Almost 2,500 businesses were created in the borough last year. The fastest growing sector was the digital and creative sector.

Cllr Simon Miller, cabinet member for economic growth and high streets, said: “Waltham Forest is the sixth fastest business growth borough in London with small businesses and start-ups making up 98 per cent of our business base.

“The creative industries are thriving and we want that to continue, so the affordability and flexibility of co-working spaces, like the award winning Central Parade and the brand new Switchboard Studios, provide the perfect environment for small businesses to start and prosper.”

Caroline Johnston, who owns The Everyspace, an incubator in Central Parade, said: “This is great news for small businesses such as myself. This will have a huge positive impact on local people taking the plunge as a start-up.

“It’s great that the council has been innovative in helping local businesses in Waltham Forest.”