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Posted: 21 August 2014
Shepherd Neame has successfully appealed the business rates of almost a third of its tenanted pubs.
The Faversham-based brewery and pub operator has procured a reduction in business rates for 101 of its 296 tenanted pubs, resulting in a total annual saving of £409,700.
Shepherd Neame’s in-house team of chartered surveyors successfully appealed the 2010 Rateable Value for 38 tenanted houses, generating annual savings of £214,575. The brewery also paid for Porters Chartered Surveyors, an independent Kent firm, to lodge successful appeals for a further 63 tenanted houses, delivering annual savings of £195,125.
Property and services director George Barnes said: “We felt that the rateable values allocated to some of our tenanted properties back in 2010 were not appropriate, and wanted to remove this unfair tax burden on our licensees.”
Shepherd Neame has also taken steps to help its licensees benefit from the Small Business Rates Relief introduced by the Government at the end of 2013. It is aimed at helping businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 and under, and Shepherd Neame has since written to 82 of its tenanted pubs with rates below the threshold, to advise that they may be eligible.
Mick Pendergast, licensee of the Nags Head in Rochester, Kent, is among the licensees to have benefited from Shepherd Neame’s intervention. He took on the pub in October 2011, just after the brewery had successfully appealed the property’s rateable value. As a result,
Mick was then able to apply for small business rate relief.
Mick said: “Before Shepherd Neame got involved, the rates were almost £4,000 a year, and now I pay around £300. This is my first pub, and I previously worked as a health and safety officer, so I didn’t have any experience in this area. Having the brewery’s support has really helped.”
The brewery has also written to seven pubs eligible for Flood Relief following last year’s adverse weather conditions. Each individual tenant has to contact their local authority to request the relevant relief.
Mr Barnes added: “We feel it is important to offer our tenants all the support we can, to ensure that they take advantage of all the financial benefits available to them. We are delighted that we have been able to help our tenants save such a significant amount of money.”