Business Rates is still a hot topic for riding schools and livery yards. The 2017 rateable values resulted in a disproportionate rise in Business Rates for many BHS Approved Centres. Working closely with The Right Honourable Dame Caroline Spelman MP, the BHS were able to secure a meeting with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to raise our concerns. At the Chancellor’s request, the BHS undertook further analysis into the number of licenced riding schools in England and also the outcome of Business Rates challenges made by centres.
The findings of the survey highlighted some very interesting points:
- There are at least 1130 licenced riding establishments operating within England
- There has been a decrease of 92 licenced riding establishments in the last 12 months
- There has been an increased in the number of licenced establishments offering pony parties, polo pony hire and tuition and equine assisted learning
- 45% of survey respondents had contested their business rates using the Check Challenge Appeal process
- Of those that have contested their business rates, 45% of business owners have been successful in reducing their business rates bill, with 75% of these reaching a successful outcome before the final appeal stage
The results of the survey have been shared with MPs and the British Horse Society will continue to campaign in this vital area. It is understood that there will be a reform of the Business Rates system, and we will be ready to contribute to the consultation process.
The survey results can be downloaded here.