The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has engaged with pub representative organisation, the Forum of British Pubs (FBP) to ensure that pubs, both tied and free of tie, benefit from accurate business rates, having taken into account current trading conditions and the pandemic impact.
Speaking on behalf of the Forum of British Pubs, Dave Mountford said, “We are pleased that the VOA has recognised our growing influence with publicans, both tied and free of tie and have approached us to help reach our members and encourage them to provide information to support the ongoing revaluation of business rates. We are also providing them with feedback on the issues our members face and longer-term hope we will be able to work with them to create a more level playing field within the industry.
The Forum have made it clear that we view the system as being unbalanced and needing serious changes to work properly. In order to make these changes, we need to be working with the organisations like the VOA and we are proud to be the only true tenant representative group that have been approached to work with them.”
The VOA undertakes valuations of businesses to establish fair assessment for Business Rates purposes. One of the most impacted sectors as a consequence of the pandemic lockdowns is the pub industry, with a material reduction in sales turnover for many, which the FBP are committed to ensure is reflected in the rates charged.
Alan Colston, Chief Valuer at the VOA, said, “We’re really pleased to be working with organisations like the Forum of British Pubs and are thankful for their support. We know the pandemic has had a significant impact on many businesses, including pubs. We need to do everything we can to make sure this is reflected at the 2023 revaluation and we have as much evidence as possible about the property market. That’s why it’s really important that pubs submit their up-to-date rental and turnover information to make sure their rateable value and the business rates they’re charged are accurate.”
Members of the FBP are being encouraged to provide the details requested by the VOA promptly when approached.