Business Rate Support For Businesses Affected By Coronavirus (COVID-19)

17 March 2020

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As a business Cooke & Arkwright are extremely aware of the ongoing economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis. We expect the Welsh and UK Government to consider the deferment of payment of rates for the duration of the crisis as an appropriate reaction.

We believe the physical consequences of the crisis enable us to make additional material change in circumstance appeals against business rate assessments.   The Valuation Office Agency is resisting this but as the physical consequences of the crisis become more manifest we will press for the event to be recognised as a reason to reconsider the quantum of business rate assessments. 

Yesterday the Welsh Government announced an enhanced scheme of support for businesses affected by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% business rate relief and pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction to their bill. This will apply for the rate year 2020/21.

In addition, a further £100 million will be available for a new grant scheme for small businesses.

Further details on this new grant scheme are to be confirmed as soon as possible.

We are hopeful that the relief will be applied automatically but will notify you if there is an application process.

We await further detail on the schemes and will keep you updated immediately.

Cooke & Arkwright have been providing rating valuation advice to The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (“WRU”) and Millennium Stadium plc for many years. They were recently successful in achieving substantial reductions in the assessments of the Millennium Stadium, covering both the 2005 and 2010 rating list. These negotiated reductions yielded savings of c.£3.5m which, crucially, allows the WRU to re-invest in rugby throughout Wales. They advise the WRU across the group portfolio including the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan. The valuation issues across the WRU portfolio are complex requiring a high level of understanding of the funding and finances of professional sport in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright’s experience and understanding of these issues and application to the rating valuation have yielded these substantial negotiated reductions. The WRU and the Millennium Stadium entrust our work to organisations with the required levels in experience and expertise in dealing with these complex issues. I am glad to say we have this expertise in Wales. I would have no hesitation in recommending ratepayers making use of this Welsh based expertise.

Steve Phillips, Group Finance Director, Welsh Rugby Union Group