Companies in prime central London areas face bigger-than-expected business rate increases, averaging almost 40%, the country’s largest collector of rates has warned.

The government’s revaluation of rates for the next five years, published today, is expected to show businesses in the heart of the capital suffering most while companies in almost all other regions receive an average cut in rates.

An expected 10% rise in London business rates was condemned by Boris Johnson, the London mayor, in the summer. But Westminster city council predicted yesterday that companies in its area, which includes the West End retail district, would be hit by much higher increases from April.

Financial Times