Snapshot of a nation: business rate facts
With all the attention focused on the Chancellor’s business rate handouts to the “high street” in the budget I started to do a bit of digging myself on the 2017 Rating List.
It was primarily to refresh my memory on the breakdown of rateable value by property type region-by-region, with just over 2.049m properties on the local rating list in England & Wales.
There were no real surprises in the geographical spread of RV properties across the country but as I went a little deeper into the sectors the list did divulge some interesting quirks that could serve as a little Friday morning time-waster.
The main group that makes up more than 25% of RV properties is not surprisingly retail, but there are a further 24 sub categories within that. Did you know, for instance, that retail also encompasses amusement arcades and betting offices? We currently have 4,660 betting offices and 780 amusement arcades in England and Wales if we fancy a flutter. For those who like live betting action, there are still 40 greyhound tracks still open and 60 race courses.
When feeling peckish we also have 4,600 takeaways to choose from and 1,350 drive-thru restaurants – at the other end of the fresh food scale there are 1,360 farm shops. If you have indulged a bit too much don’t worry, we have 20 health farms to choose from or 3,650 fitness gyms.
One of the most surprising stats I came across related to the quintessentially English holiday must-have – the good old beach hut. Apparently, we have 18,890 of those in our seaside towns.
Sports-wise we are still a nation who likes to get out there and play. We have 1,910 cricket grounds, 1,020 football pitches and 110 football stadiums. A telling sign of RU versus RL popularity, there are 410 RU grounds compared to a mere 40 Rugby League grounds. For those who like to stay dry whilst they burn off a few calories we have 890 dance schools.
Donald Trump would also be pleased to see that England and Wales has 530 weapons ranges listed in the leisure category as well as 340 war games courses.
In our leisure time it seems we still like things small with 40 miniature railways listed and 100 pitch n’ putt greens, compared to just 240 driving ranges. Those who want to waste a day aimlessly wandering around there are still 1,900 golf courses to choose from.
I could go on for hours – and often do, so say colleagues – but I will finish off with just a few random additions:
As a nation we also can boast:
- 42,700 pubs
- 4,150 public conveniences
- 20 model villages
- 50 windmills
- 660 photographic booths
- 430 pet grooming parlours
A New Year and a new inquiry into business rates thanks to the intervention of the Treasury Select Committee.
A respected business rates expert recently said that seldom has the title of a new set of regulations given less clue as to its real purpose.
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