Postcode lottery for golf clubs due to business rates rise

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 4, 2017 11:59

A survey on how changes to business rates will affect golf clubs has found that venues in south west and central England are seeing the largest rises.

A new rating list came into effect in April and it is resulting in wide discrepancies among the changes golf clubs will pay, depending on where in England and Wales they are located, according to UK rating firm Dunlop Heywood.

The average golf club in eastern England, the north west and Wales will pay less, while everywhere else will pay more.

Golf clubs in south west and central England are seeing rises of more than five per cent.

For the more than 2,100 golf clubs in England and Wales, the average increase will be 2.28 per cent.

Dunlop Heywood’s rating director, Adam Brooke, said:With falling participation in golf and many modern day enthusiasts opting to ‘pay and play’, rather than being members, golf club owners may have been hoping for large falls in their business rates. The sport faces significant challenges in the coming years and examining that against the industry’s rateable value, I can see many will be very disappointed with the revaluation outcome.

“There is always the option to appeal but the government is currently revamping the appeal process which seems to be making it harder not easier to challenge the Valuation Office Agency. My advice would be to check your business rates and seek guidance from a professional rating advisor who can navigate you through the new legislation and undertake the challenge on your behalf.”

The company said Wentworth GC – home to the BMW Championship – was the golf club that saw the biggest rise, of seven per cent, from £750k to £800k. Second is Woburn Golf & Country Club, at £520k. Some big clubs pay much less however, with, for example, Royal Birkdale, host of this year’s Open, paying £162k and seeing no rise.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 4, 2017 11:59
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