The craft baker has not revealed the full extent of the original estimate, but said it suspected that it did not reflect the mixed age of the Hull development and its poor internal layout. As a result, it appealed against the valuation officer’s (VO’s) calculations with the help of property services firm CVS.
“We were extremely pleased with the substantial reduction CVS achieved for us on our business rates,” said Paul Stockill, director at Cooplands. “The extra money can be put back into the business.
“CVS took a professional approach to the rates appeal process and we were kept informed throughout.”
The move represented a major saving on what was often one of the top three costs for businesses, said CVS.
“After discussions with the VO regarding the available rental evidence as well as the way in which the VO had treated other comparable properties in the locality, we were successful in our representation that the current RV [rateable value] was excessive,” said CVS regional director Dennis Broughton, the surveyor working with Coopland.
In December last year, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced a cap of 2% on business rates inflation from April this year. He extended small business rate relief and introduced the ability to pay rates in monthly instalments.
He also announced his intention to clear the backlog of rates appeals by July 2015.
6,500 yet to lodge appeal
CSV said that more than 6,500 businesses in Hull alone, including food firms, had yet to lodge an appeal and doing so could make the difference to whether or not they survived in 2014.
It urged other food and drink manufacturers to consider making similar challenges, so that they could potentially achieve similar savings to those of Cooplands.
Coopland & Son operates from three bakery premises and supplies more than 100 shops, 10 cafés and a small wholesale business within the Yorkshire, Durham, Lincolnshire and Teesside areas. Its headquarters is at Pindar Business Park, Caxton Way, in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.