Budget Announcement and Impact on Business Rates for Festival Sites

01 Apr 2016

AIF, working alongside a wider coalition of the live industry, has been involved in lobbying the Treasury on the subject of business rates for festivals and events sites. We strongly believe that such rates should not apply to such temporary, ancillary uses of land and that this change of practice essentially amounts to a stealth tax for festival organisers.
In the most recent budget statement from the Chancellor, the Government announced that it will be ending temporary rates relief for businesses on an ad hoc basis, replacing it with a permanent cut (of 100%) for all businesses with a rateable value of less than £12,000, and a tapered relief on an RV of £15, 000, in comparison to the current £6, 000- This will be effective from next April next year and will apparently result in 600,000 businesses paying no rates at all.
What this essentially means is good news for the majority of festivals currently paying rates. From April 2017, we can reasonably expect that only the very largest festival sites will remain liable for rates. However, we still disagree with the principle of applying such rates to sites and because the government will continue to assess all businesses, which may include festival sites, and they will give them Rateable Values, the importance of getting a correct value should not be under estimated. AIF members should get in contact with Paul Reed if they are approached for information from the Valuation Office.