Petition urges rates relief for pop-ups

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Business rates, Small business, Business

Roger Wade: the campaign offers 'a sustainable solution to revitalising our empty high streets'
Roger Wade: the campaign offers 'a sustainable solution to revitalising our empty high streets'
A petition has been launched urging retailers of ‘pop-up’ premises to be able to qualify for three months’ business rates relief.

The petition,​ which is supported by private members’ club operator Rushmore Group among others, is aimed at MP Adrian Bailey, chair of the Business, Innovation & Skills Committee.

The petition is headed by Roger Wade, chief executive of Boxpark, which operates a pop-up mall in Shoreditch, east London.

Among those backing the campaign is Bill Grimsey, former Iceland CEO, who recently published a report on the future of high streets.

'Sustainable solution'

Wade said: “This is potentially a sustainable solution to revitalising our empty high streets. Pop-ups are the future breeding ground for the next generation of independent retailers.

“The Government should offer business rates relief for qualifying small business pop-up tenants.

“We recommend a qualifying small business tenant can claim up to three months’ rates relief once per calendar year.”

Rates relief

He added: “The current business rates relief scheme allows landlords to qualify for up to three months’ relief if they let empty units but the small business tenants are still responsible for paying rates if the rateable value is above £6,000.”

Wade said the current system is “totally one-sided” as it does not encourage small businesses to rent empty shops but his alternative would support the landlord and the tenant, persuading businesses to trial pop-up stores in the long-term.

"After three months the tenant will then be liable for commercial rental terms and business rates,” he added.


“The benefits include the following: the small business tenant can test retail concepts at relatively low set-up costs; the landlord can fill empty units and qualify for up to three months’ business rates relief and hopefully develop a long-term tenant; and the Government can fill empty stores and, hopefully after three months, generate long-term business rates on empty stores.”

Jerry Schurder, Gerald Eve’s head of rating, said he broadly backed the petition and the Government should “directly fund” councils that wish to offer the relief.

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