Budget rates relief could be worth £40m to forecourt sector

Rates relief announced in last week’s Budget could be worth £40m for the forecourt sector, according to property and planning consultancy Rapleys.

It also suggested that forecourts may benefit from some of the new £500m funding to support development of rapid chargers.

Stacey Jolly, surveying technician in the ratings team at Rapleys, said: “Rapleys’ rating team welcomes the recent budget announcement and have calculated that approximately 38% of petrol stations (circa 3,200 across England and Wales) will benefit from the 100% retail relief announced by the chancellor in his budget on the 10 March.

“The announcement, which affects the financial year 2020/21, covers any petrol station with a rateable value of £51,000 or less and means that they will receive a full relief on their rates payable. Having investigated the potential rates liability of all the sites, those affected could benefit from a total saving of up to £40m pounds for the financial year 2020/21.”

Mark Frostick, senior associate in the automotive and roadside team at Rapleys, commented: “This comes as good news in a time of uncertainty. Although fuel prices are slowly coming down, this sector will be hit hard with the panic the country is facing over the Covid-19 outbreak and the potential self-isolation of many people.

“In addition to the rating relief the government also announced £500m towards rapid charging hubs for electric vehicles. It may well be that some of the very petrol stations that are getting rates relief will also benefit from the investment from grants to provide a charging point.”

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