Horse Racing community set for huge blow as business rates bills set to rocket

Racecourses, Riding Schools and Stables alike face hard to comprehend increases
As a direct result of the Government’s latest Revaluation, the horse racing community- from popular Racecourses like Ascot and Cheltenham to Riding Schools and Stables across England and Wales- are set to face staggering increases to business rates bills as of April next year.

The Valuation Office Agency, those responsible for setting the new property assessments, known as Rateable Value, assess Racecourses and stables and facilities in very different ways.

Rating Director Philip Emerick, who works for CVS Business Rent & Rates Specialists, details that racecourses are assessed by taking into consideration their receipts, and since the increase in receipts has been measured over a period of 7 years, at a time when inflation was low, the new huge increases in Rateable Value appear totally disproportionate.

Stables and training facilities are assessed by reference to the number of loose boxes, plus the ancillary accommodations such as hay barns, horse walkers and exercise arenas, and the Rateable value is meant to reflect the annual rental value.

Over the last 7 years however, the industry as a whole has seen consolidation due to the recession, with little evidence of increased demand which would drive the limited rental evidence upwards between the last Revaluation and this one.

Research carried out by CVS Business Rent & Rates Specialists, shows that the 57 Racecourses across England and Wales Rateable Values have risen by a staggering £9million, or 59%, compared to when they were last assessed in 2008.  All but one of the 57 Racecourses will see an increase in their Rateable Value.

Ascot Racecourse has the highest difference in Rateable Value since the last Revaluation, assessed from £2.5million in 2010 to £4.9million for 2017, almost doubling their valuation. They’re closely followed by Cheltenham Racecourse who face an assessment increase of 58%.

But it’s not just the well-known racecourses who are taking the hit. Cartmel Racecourse’s Rateable Value has increased by a staggering 311%- from £18,000 to £74,000. Others with a 100%+ increase include Ludlow, Newton Abbot, Stratford-On-Avon, Fakenham and Bangor-On-Dee.

These astronomical rises in assessments mean only one thing- that business rates bills are also set to rise. Collectively, the 57 Racecourses will face a £22million increase in rates bills over the next five years. The story is much the same for racing stables and riding schools too.

Stables and Schools across England and Wales are set to face 50% increases to Rateable Values, and an increased business rates bill of £29million to foot over the next 5 years.

Mark Rigby, CEO of business rent and rates specialists CVS, said;

“The horse racing community is facing a business rates shock, and they only have until April to prepare.

“On one hand, these increases are a sign that the sector as a whole has been in rude health over the past seven years. However, such a drastic rise in business rates could leave many of our beloved Racecourses, Riding Schools and Stables squeezed and – in severe cases- at greater risk of being put out of business.”

Those facing increased rates bills are advised to seek professional advice as to whether they are paying the correct amount. The Government’s changes to the business rates appeals process means that there is now a three-stage process known as ‘Check. Challenge. Appeal.’ (CCA) for the property’s new assessment.

The CCA process is intended to manage the flow of cases through the system in a structured and transparent way, and each step must be fully completed in sequence to submit an Appeal.

Nearly three quarter of a million businesses in England and Wales challenged their last assessment with almost 1 in 3 receiving a rebate.

Mark Rigby added:

“It is essential that businesses within the Racing community individually consider a thorough check of their new tax assessment, as there may well be scope for an appeal.”

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  • CVS was founded in 1999 and is now a leading business rent and rates specialist.
  • CVS operates nationally from its three offices in London, Manchester and Bristol.
  • CVS has saved over £700 million for clients on their business rent and rates.
  • CVS has the largest comparable database of any UK company providing these services.
  • CVS has an enviable track record of saving an average of over 9% for clients on their business rent and rates on successful cases.
  • Businesses interested in saving money on their business rent and rates costs should telephone 0800 043 9231.

Media Contact:

Claire Havey / 0161 874 1859 /

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