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Hotel specialists welcome Scottish business rates recommendations

Glasgow-based Redefine|BDL Hotels (RBH) has called for the recommendations of the Barclay Review to be adopted

Pictured: Stuart Houston, director of finance at RBH

Glasgow-based Redefine|BDL Hotels (RBH) has joined members of the Scottish business community in calling for the recommendations of the independent Barclay Review to be adopted by the Scottish Government.

The Barclay Review, released earlier this month, recommended that some venues, including golf clubs, should start paying into the business rates system.

Stuart Houston, director of finance at RBH, said: “We have been vocal in our opposition to the current business rates system north of the border and there are several positives to be drawn from the recent Barclay Review. For us, the core issue has been the perception that the revaluing system is non-transparent and favours a one-size fits-all approach.

“The new recommendations would go some way towards redressing these concerns. Indeed, the call for short-term measures to make better information on rates available to ratepayers, and a medium term measure to ensure assessors provide more transparency and consistency of approach, would be beneficial to the hospitality sector and all ratepayers alike.”

RBH oversees a portfolio of more than 45 properties, 15 of which are in Scotland.

Houston added: “Other measures which we would particularly welcome are the Business Growth Accelerator and the reduction of large business supplement.

“A 12-month delay in introducing rates to new properties and in newly expanded or improved properties would further incentivise our investment partners by allowing them to realise a return on capital spend before incurring additional costs.

“What’s more, with our entire Scottish estate subject to large business supplement at present, a reduction in this would remove the current additional cost burden for our owners trading in Scotland, aligning us with other areas of the UK.

“While the Business Growth Accelerator wouldn’t be viable until 2018-19 and the large business supplement reduction taking longer still, we still welcome the recommendations and call for the Scottish Government to seriously consider their implementation.

“In short, we see the recommendations of the Barclay Review as a positive step, but would urge further changes still.”

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