The cart is empty
Subsribe Now to our Weekly Newsletter

HTA & NFU Business rates success for NI and UK Plant Nurseries

HTA logo

We are delighted by the recent Government policy that land and buildings at plant nursery grounds should benefit from the agricultural exemption for business rates.

The NFU, with the backing of the HTA, its expert rating advisors Turner Morum LLP, and the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable fought hard for this exemption to be reaffirmed allowing growers the security to invest in the future. 

The Government has agreed to use the next legislative opportunity to make sure all plant nursery grounds continue to have an agricultural exemption from business rates. Their intention is to amend the Local Government Finance Act which is currently going through parliament.

Raoul Curtis-Machin, HTA Director of Horticulture, says, “Many of our grower member businesses were facing business rate charges for the first time this year, where they had previously been exempt from an agricultural classification. In some cases, this could have amounted to hundreds of thousands of pounds, which could have put some members out of business. The HTA, working with the NFU and the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group, has been lobbying government for this not happen and has now received a Ministerial Statement that our efforts have worked. This is great news for growers who feared that being brought into the rates system would make their businesses unviable.”

On Thursday 30 March, Marcus Jones, MP and minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government, made the following announcement:

"Since at least 1928, plant nursery grounds have been treated by the Valuation Office Agency as exempt from business rates as part of the general exemption for agriculture. However, following a recent Court of Appeal decision, the Valuation Office Agency has started to bring into business rates buildings at nursery grounds including structures such as poly-tunnels.

The exemption for agricultural properties is an important part of the rating system. It ensures that large areas of agricultural land and buildings are not liable to a property tax which could have a significant impact on the cost of farming. I can confirm to the House that the Government’s policy is that land and buildings at plant nursery grounds should benefit from the agricultural exemption for business rates.

Therefore, we intend at the soonest opportunity to amend the Local Government Finance Act 1988 to ensure both agricultural land and buildings at plant nursery grounds are exempt from business rates. This will return the law to align with the practice followed by the Valuation Office Agency before the decision in the Court of Appeal."

The wording of the amendment has yet to be revealed and the timescale for the implementation of the changes remains unclear, however, the minister’s reassurance serves as confirmation that growers will be protected. 

Source: HTA - HTA & NFU Business rates success for NI and UK Plant Nurseries

Featured Event


11 September 2017 - 13 September 2017

The NEC @ North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT, UK

Glee Birmingham 2017

Join us at Glee 2017 to see the launch of hundreds of new products, discover the future customer buying trends and seize the opportunity to meet over 500 suppliers!

At Glee we bring the most exciting exhibitors together with the most powerful and influential visitors and buyers in the industry. Spread across 8 select show sectors Glee offers three jam-packed days of networking, selling and purchasing which are not to be missed. Whilst discovering the latest in innovative products, you can also meet hundreds of new and existing suppliers all under one roof. Taking place at the perfect time of year to re-stock your shelves just before Christmas, Glee is the most crucial garden trade event in any retailer’s calendar.

Offering thousands of the newest and most inspirational garden retail products from over 550+ suppliers, Glee welcomes all kinds of exhibitors from across 8 carefully edited show sectors. If you have your own brand, garden centre, shop or make or grow your own products, we have a spot just for you. With visitors from multiples, independents and online retailers, it’s the perfect opportunity to launch and showcase your product collections, nurture your existing relationships and grow new ones.

Date, Time & Location
11 to 13 September 2017

The NEC, Birmingham, B40 1NT

Mon 11 Sept - 9:00 - 18:00
Tues 12 Sept - 9:00 - 18:00
Wed 13 Sept - 9:00 - 16:00