Legislation was introduced on 23 May confirming that ornamental plant nurseries will not be subject to business rates, and will continue to be exempt as they were previously. The HTA, NFU and the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group lobbied hard for this, after several nurseries highlighted the potentially crippling costs that rates could impose on growers.
A court case in 2015 opened up a potential loophole in the law which would bring nurseries into line with paying business rates. The Government has decided that this will not happen. Garden centres and grower-retailer operations will continue to pay business rates.
HTA director of horticulture Raoul Curtis-Machin said: “We’d like to thank George Eustice and Defra for acting on our concerns. This will be a great relief to many of our members and non-member nurseries.”
A factsheet about the Non-Domestic Rating (Nursery Grounds) Bill can be found at: