An increase of 4p in the pound on business rates would raise more than £400m a year in London and hundreds of millions more in larger regional towns and cities, the Centre for Cities has predicted. Financial Times

The supplementary business rate could fund more than £10bn of investment over 30 years, the think tank says in research undertaken with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In London, a levy of 4p could contribute to the Crossrail project. In Greater Manchester, a similar rate could support borrowing of almost £1.2bn to allow extension of the city’s Metrolink. In Birmingham, even a smaller levy of 2p in the pound over 30 years could allow borrowing up to £200m, which the think-tank suggests could pay for improvements to the New Street station, which are wanted by business.