The British Horse Society (BHS) Scotland, is calling for a review of business rates for equestrian enterprises, which are going to rise by up to 150% for some.
BHS Scotland analysed more than 250 riding schools and livery yards and found that the average proposed increase in business rates for these properties is 55%.
Business rates are partly calculated by the rentable value of a property, as equestrian businesses are large properties, they are set to see a steep increase. Meanwhile, farming and forestry businesses are exempt from rates.
BHS Scotland is working with their rates advisor Niall Milner from Davidson and Robertson; campaigning for a review of how rates are calculated. They have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution, Derek Mackay and produced an advice sheet for industry. BHS Approved Centres across the country have written to their MSP’s inviting them to visit their centre and see first-hand the impact an increase in rates will have on their business.
Two BHS Approved Centres in England have closed their doors because of business rates, and BHS Scotland is concerned that they could see the same north of the border. Aside from the direct impact on businesses, there are wider concerns regarding equine welfare.
Helene Mauchlen, BHS Scotland National Manager said: “The proposed increase in business rates for equestrian businesses is one of the biggest issues facing the industry. It will have far-reaching consequences on the Scottish equine industry, rural economy and equine welfare as a whole”.