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Business Rates on Greenfield Sites

It has come to our attention over recent years that some local authorities are starting to examine the possibility of charging Business Rates to greenfield site events.  It is well known that agricultural land is zero rated, however some local authorities have permission from government to charge a business rate where the farmer or land owner takes a rent for an event to take place on their land.  These can range from one weekend up to two or even three weeks pro-rata.

These issues were brought to the attention of UK Music who, on our behalf, have included festivals in their response to a government consultation paper on the issue quoting as follows:

“Many venues also participate and host music festivals.  The increase in business rates has an adverse impact on multi-venue or venue-situated music festivals with many losing festival locations in order to host performances.  Some festivals have had to close as a result of the re-valuation as the costs have been passed through on their rent.  A retail discount would allow festivals based in venues, an opportunity to be consistent and run year-on-year.”

“Festivals also on rural sites currently rely on the agriculture exemption to be a successful event and allow wider contribution to local economy.“

UK Music is keen to ensure that the agricultural exemption remains in place.  If business rates are applied to agricultural land for business use, then music festivals which are temporary, annual events, will be passed on the entire cost by the land owner, making many festivals untenable.

We await the government response.

AFO represents its members at UK Music (Live) and so has direct access to work as above.

AFO: 11th Jul 2019 09:20:00

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