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Business rates

Licensees hit back at business rates revaluation

By Helen Gilbert , 01-Nov-2016
Last updated on 01-Nov-2016 at 17:20 GMT2016-11-01T17:20:32Z

Increase: licensees have hit back at the business rates revaluation
Increase: licensees have hit back at the business rates revaluation

London pubs will be among the hardest hit when the business rates revaluation comes into force next April, new research has revealed. 

Venues in the capital will see their bills rise by 25.6%, on average, over the next five years, compared to 9.2% for the rest of the country, the findings by business rent and rates specialists CVS found.

Pubs in Westminster will experience a rate rise of 43.2% on average, while those in Camden, Southwark and Kensington & Chelsea will be subject to increases of 39.8%, 36.4% and 35.6% respectively, the calculations showed.

O’Neill’s, based on Wardour Street, Soho, is set for the biggest price hike and will have to pay an extra £102,000 next year – a rise of 31.5%.

Meanwhile, Fuller’s-owned the Parcel Yard in King’s Cross station and the Shakespeare Tavern opposite Victoria station, both face a 50% rise – with the former requiring an extra £83,866 and the latter £69,312.

Hurdle to cross

The Horniman in Hay’s Galleria near London Bridge will also have to stump up a further £79,475 – an increase of 47%.

“It’s another hurdle we’ll have to cross and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Rose Hubbard, who has managed the Horniman for the past 11 years, told The Morning Advertiser.

Simon Emeny, Fuller’s chief executive warned the rises would have a "significant impact" on a business like Fuller’s, with a London-focused estate.

“We have invested heavily in our pubs and in training our teams to successfully deliver a fantastic customer experience in some truly iconic sites and these rises effectively penalise that success.”

Severe concerns

British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds  added: “We have severe concerns about the impact this could have. Pubs are rated by turnover, but when 34% of your turnover goes in tax, they remain marginal businesses, and by their very nature, not very efficient users of space.  

"We have responded to the Government consultation on transitional arrangements for business rates in England, making a number of proposals to Government to mitigate the impact.”

The findings also showed that outer London pubs will experience a lower rise in rates with Bexley, Hounslow, Croydon, Havering and Bromley all set for bill increases of less than 10%.

“London pubs are set for a business rates shock from next April and I won’t be surprised if we see pints getting even more expensive,” said chief executive Mark Rigby of business rent and rates specialists CVS. “On one hand, these increases are a sign that the capital’s pubs have been in rude health over the past seven years. 

"However, such a drastic rise in business rates could leave pub operators squeezed and, in severe cases, at greater risk of closure or redevelopment.”

Barking & Dagenham was identified as the only Greater London area that would see a reduction in business rates of -4.4% on average.

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