Majority of Northumberland pubs in line for a discount, but is it enough?

Exclusive research shows that 92 per cent of pubs in Northumberland are eligible for a discount after the Budget earlier this month.

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 11:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:02 am
Brought to you by the Northumberland Gazette.

Detailed analysis by CVS Business Rent & Rates Specialists shows that there are 331 pubs in the Northumberland council area liable for business rates, of which 140 have a rateable value below £12,000.

From April 1, under new measures with the doubling of the small business rates relief threshold, 42 per cent of all local pubs will no longer pay any business rates at all over the next five years.

Of the remaining 191 pubs, CVS says 177 have a rateable value less than £100,000 and are eligible to the new £1,000 pub discount announced at the Budget, subject to state-aid rules, which is 92 per cent of all pubs that will face a rates bill in April.

The pub sector has been adversely affected by the revaluation of business rates, seeing property assessments rise overall by more than 14 per cent and this temporary one-year measure is designed to provide extra, immediate help to this struggling sector in the short term.

Just 14 of the biggest pubs in the county, which have a rateable value over £100,000, won’t receive the discount, but those facing big hikes would be able to access the £300million hardship fund.

This even applies to those pubs that are set to receive the pub discount.

Mark Rigby, chief Eexecutive of CVS, who met with the Secretary of State ahead of the Budget to press for financial help for pubs, said: “Rating for pubs is notoriously complex. Unlike other rates assessments which are based on rents, valuations for pubs are based on an assessment of ‘fair maintainable trade’, which is calculated using information on turnover, services offered, the local area and other factors.

“Businesses should always make sure that they are paying fair and accurate rates liabilities, and if not, then they should seek to challenge their new property assessment by way of lodging an appeal with a professional agent.”

More than one million businesses in England challenged their last property assessment with almost one in three receiving a rebate through a successful appeal.