THE Treasury has given the broadest hint yet that it will introduce fiscal measures to support urban regeneration.

The chief adviser to the Treasury, Ed Balls, speaking at the Core Cities Conference in Sheffield last Friday, said: “The government and the Treasury are responding to the challenge that the Rogers report sets down and we will go further by promoting the use of appropriate national and fiscal instruments to promote better land use and support regeneration.”

Balls went on to say that chancellor Gordon Brown will announce details of the new tax measures in his autumn pre-budget statement and the urban white paper, to be published next month.

Lord Rogers, chairman of the urban taskforce, called for fiscal measures to encourage inner city development in his report published last May.

Balls’ speech comes after a meeting on 13 September between the chancellor and Lord Rogers.

Lord Rogers used meeting to push the case for grants to clean contaminated land, a cut in VAT on repair work and tax breaks for firms that relocate to regeneration areas.

This meeting was a last-ditch attempt by senior figures in the taskforce to influence the government white paper and pre-budget statement.

It is also understood that Lord Rogers urged the government to introduce measures to penalise those holding empty properties and to encourage the use of empty buildings in inner cities.

A spokesperson for the urban taskforce described the meeting as positive.