The British Horse Society (BHS) has launched a campaign calling for fair business rates for riding schools and livery yards, which are set to rise 356% in some areas.
Sarah Philips, Director of Participation for the BHS said; “A key concern for the BHS is that riding schools and livery yards have been hit hard with the new Rateable Values which come into force in April 2017. The increase which these equestrian businesses are being subject to are considerably more than the average for businesses across England and Wales.
The average increase in Rateable Value for all businesses in England is 9.6% while in Wales there is a decrease of 2.9%. However riding schools and livery yards are being hit with massive increases of up to 180% and a massive 356% in the south-east.”
The Society has written to every MP in England and Wales to highlight the plight that riding schools and livery yards face, and explaining the effect this will have on the equine industry as a whole. Every MP will have riding schools and livery yards in their constituency and it is vital that they are aware of the devastating impact this increase in rateable values will have.
The BHS has been campaigning for several years about the impact of business rates. Over the last 18 months, the BHS has submitted responses, on behalf of its members, to the Government consultations on the Reform of Business Rates. There have been some positive developments with the small business rate threshold increasing to £12,000 from next year. However, this welcomed benefit has been removed by the massive increase in rateable value for most riding schools and livery yards.
The BHS has also written to all of their approved riding schools and livery yards with a tool kit including a sample letter that they can send out to their local MP. We are encouraging riding schools and livery yards to invite their MP to visit them to see what impact this increase will be having on their business.