Introducing Huw Jones

28 July 2020

Share this

Our series introducing members of the Cooke & Arkwright team continues as we invite you to meet Huw Jones. Huw is an Associate Director within our Rating department, the largest professional rating practice in Wales, which has faced a few challenges this year!

What was your route into property as a career?

Property was part of my home life when I was growing up as my father is a Chartered Surveyor. Despite, or maybe because of this, I enrolled for a Property Degree with the University of Glamorgan. I was offered several jobs but having an interest in technology, I joined Vodafone in Newbury in the Estates department dealing with the base station portfolio. When the opportunity arose to join Cooke & Arkwright, I returned to Cardiff in 2006.

Tell us about your work at Cooke & Arkwright.

Initially I worked in the Valuation department dealing with commercial valuations of various types of property. I then transferred to the Rating Department where I deal with non-domestic rating issues for our retained clients all over the UK.

Give us an overview of what an average day for you could entail.

Each day varies from dealing with offices, retail or industrial properties for individuals or national companies to reduce their rating liabilities. This year has been unlike any other! From the challenge of dealing with flooding in South Wales at the beginning of the year, to working from home and dealing with the consequences of the pandemic. This has all been in addition to challenging the entries in the 2017 rating list.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

The variety of the work, spending time out of the office doing inspections and meeting clients, achieving a good result for clients and informing them of the savings.

What advice would you give someone starting out in property now?

The property market is ever changing. During school and university days I experienced different forms of surveying which helped shape what I wanted to do. The future of property is in my opinion a big challenge; we have seen huge changes in the retail sector, and working from home has changed the working environment. These challenges need bright individuals who can think outside of the box.

Tell us a bit about your experience of working from home.

I have turned my parents’ dining room into my home office as I have moved back home to form a family ‘bubble’! This has had its advantages as I have been able to go for walks after work and recently starting to play more golf in the evenings. I have missed the camaraderie of the office environment which cannot be replaced by the morning team call.

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