Treetop Adventure Golf launched a new centre in The Printworks in Manchester in August 2018. Approximately 6 months after opening they received the assessment of the rateable value (RV) for their premises from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The RV ascribed by the VOA was massively in excess of any estimates they had obtained and the resulting liability significantly greater than anything they had budgeted for. Shortly after receiving the assessment of RV from the VOA, they received the corresponding demand from the City of Manchester requiring a substantial back payment.
DWD approached the City of Manchester and agreed an initial payment plan which provided some ‘breathing space’ to allow us to negotiate the rateable value with the VOA. We knew that our client could not spend 2-3 years navigating the Check Challenge and Appeal process. Using our contacts within the VOA, we were able to make a case for the Check (1st stage appeal) to be fast-tracked and to ensure that it was considered by one of their Specialist Valuers. Within 2 weeks of submission of our case we were able to reduce the rateable value from £450,000 to £175,000. This resulted in refunds and rating list savings to our client of in excess of £300,000.
Starting or expanding a business is complex enough without receiving unexpected bills. We recommend that anyone considering taking new business premises obtains specialist Business Rates advice prior to financial commitment.