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7 March, 2017 - 10:29 By Kate Sweeney

Barford serves up rate reduction for Bedford café

Pavilion cafe Bedford

Bedford café Pavilion at the Park has seen its Rateable Value reduced by 40 per cent and from April its business rates bill reduced to nil, thanks to negotiation by St Neots commercial property and surveying practice Barford + Co.

The reduction comes at a time when small business rates are in the national spotlight, with rateable values set to rise on April 1 for shops in 791 villages, towns and cities in England and Wales, according to a recent report.

Sheila Smyth is director of professional services at Barford + Co and led the negotiation with the Valuation Office, an executive agency sponsored by HM Revenue & Customs, to reduce the Pavilion’s RV.

She said: “When the Pavilion tendered for the lease of the premises around three years ago, HMRC’s Valuation Office deemed the facilities ‘ancillary to the park’ and so there was no rateable value.

“Unfortunately, and to the surprise of the Pavilion’s owner, the Valuation Office recently sent a backdated bill for the period the premises had been operating as a café.

“Following negotiation with the Valuation Office, we are delighted to have been able to bring about a significant reduction in the Pavilion’s rates bill.

“Rateable values have a meaningful impact on small businesses, with increases having the potential to put the future of a firm into question. 
“We would therefore encourage all  businesses, small or large, which are concerned about their business rates and any possible increases in April, to seek advice on their current situation.”

As well as reducing the RV for the Pavilion, Barford + Co’s intervention also succeeded in securing Small Business Rates Relief and 100 per cent Business Rates Relief from April 2017.

• To speak to Barford + Co about rateable values and whether your business might be eligible for a rates reduction, call 01480 213811. 

Kiss Communications

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