Will Wales align with Scotland or England on rates relief?

3 March 2021

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In his Budget statement today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed an extension of the 100% business rates relief for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England from 1 April 2021 until the end of June 2021.

After this period, 66% business rates relief will apply between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022, capped at £2m per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.

The Chancellor also announced an extra £740m in funding for the Welsh Government, which has yet to announce any extension on business rates relief in Wales.

Business Rates Director, Andrew West commented, “The extension to the relief is logical and welcome. However, it will inevitably be compared with the equivalent scheme in Scotland, where it was previously announced the relief will be extended for the full rate year.

“The Welsh Government have yet to make an announcement, but it is hoped they will align with Scotland rather than England and consider extending targeted relief to other beleaguered sectors such as aviation.”

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