Scotland throws down the gauntlet

Speculation grows over extension of retail, leisure & hospitality business rates relief for 2021/22

17 February 2021
  • Business Rate advice Cooke & Arkwright

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Earlier today the Scottish Government announced that the business rate holiday will be extended for a further 12 months covering the full financial year 2021/22. This will benefit businesses occupying retail, hospitality, leisure and the aviation sectors until 31st March 2022.

Speculation grew that the retail, leisure and hospitality rate relief would be extended into 2021/22 when the Westminster Government recently advised councils in England to delay issuing business rate bills until after the Chancellor’s budget statement on 3rd March.

The Scottish Government’s welcome announcement was made following the provision of additional consequential funding from Westminster.

The announcement will put further pressure on the Chancellor to extend the relief for another year and perhaps extending this to other beleaguered business sectors beyond retail, leisure and hospitality.

In this case I would expect additional resources to be given to the Welsh Government in order to provide its own scheme of relief, either identical or similar.

We will all be waiting with bated breath on 3rd March.

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