Furthermore, this could present adverse circumstances for a number operators, at least until an appeal can be heard (up to 2 years wait).

Well it hasn’t taken long for the proposed increases to claim its first casualty in the sector.

The owners of Bridges Nurseries which operates in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have announced the closure of its nursery in Westhill, citing the increase in business rates as the reason for doing so.

Informing parents of the unfortunate news, Bridges manager and co-director Lois Duncan is quoted in the Press & Journal “You will be aware, from our recent letter and a great deal of press coverage, that the current review of business rates in Aberdeenshire has put all nursery schools under enormous pressure.

“Short-term financial sticking plasters have been proposed for some, but they do not currently apply to you, our parents.

 “As a direct result of ever increasing overheads, this facility is simply no longer viable.”

In response, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “The Scottish Government has committed around £660million of business rates relief next year, including an additional £7.5million relief recently announced for Aberdeen, while councils are empowered to apply further reductions to address any local issues as they see fit.

 “Companies have until September to appeal, and we would encourage firms to do so.”

As we have written previously, the hospitality sector will not see bills rise more than 12.5% when the rates come into effect on April 2017. However, nursery firms will not be granted the same relief.

The full article can be read here …


The potentially devastating impact on nursery businesses isn’t restricted to the North-East. businessratesadvice.com act for nursery operators the length and breadth of Scotland and we have seen numerous instances of frankly ludicrous increases which have been proposed.

It can’t be stressed highly enough that nursery operators should appeal their new Assessments upon receiving their new Valuation Notice; these Notices should be dropping through letterboxes any day now.

Operators should also budget for the increases in their cashflow projections as ratepayers are legally obliged to pay rates based on the new Assessment until an appeal can be heard and potential reductions achieved. In some instances, this may take up to 2 years from the date of appeal.

Failure to submit an appeal by 30 September 2017 will lead to a loss of the right to challenge the new assessment, potentially resulting in excessive rates bills until 2022 at the earliest.

Please feel free to get in touch with us for further information.