Trade Organisations

Hospitality joins forces to strive for fairer treatment

Amongst those in attendance of the meeting were, owner of Simpsons and The Cross at Kenilworth, Andreas Antona, owner of Nuthurst Grange, Paul Hopwood, MD of Eden Hotel Collection, Mark Chambers, Hotel Group operations manager of Eden Hotel Collection, among others

A group of hoteliers and restaurateurs fed up with the industry being “discriminated against, with disproportionate business rates”, came together at Nailcote Hall Hotel, Coventry in order to help push for change. 

A meeting took place with CEO of UK Hospitality, Kate Nicholls and Midlands MP, Saqib Bhatti, to discuss the “alarming inequalities” in the way business rates are charged in the UK and how they will take immediate action.

Amongst those in attendance of the meeting were, owner of Simpsons and The Cross at Kenilworth, Andreas Antona, owner of Nuthurst Grange, Paul Hopwood, MD of Eden Hotel Collection, Mark Chambers, Hotel Group operations manager of Eden Hotel Collection, Jayne O’Malley commercial director of Classic British Hotels, Phillip Allsopp and from Lovely Pubs, operations manager Mark Lee, and director Paul Hales.

The meeting was held in response to the recent government review of business rates; although welcomed by many, the group believe “it didn’t go far enough to address the concerns of the hospitality industry”. 

The group argues the rise in employer’s National Insurance, massive increase in energy bills, rising cost of fuel, banks demanding repayment of covid loans, out of control inflation, wage increase demands and staffing shortages; are all factors adversely affecting businesses in hospitality. In addition to these challenges, businesses have the added weight of disproportionate business rates.

They added that while three-year reviews, although “encouraging”, are “yet to address the inequity” and in waiting for the next review to take place, it may be too late for many.  

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, said: “Despite representing only 5% of the UK’s GDP, the hospitality industry pays over 15% of the total revenues raised by business rates, with other businesses paying little or nothing at all. We are fighting for a greater discount. Our industry is already facing so many challenges with all the other pressures on our sector, I think that gives us a special case to ask for a reduction.”

Rick Cressman, owner of Nailcote Hall and organiser of the recent meeting, added: “Business rates are an unfair and discriminatory burden on the hospitality sector, a sector already badly damaged by the pandemic. Because of this our businesses are unable to re-invest at the levels we need to, making it impossible for the sector to recover effectively.”

It revealed a four-point action plan has been formulated for hospitality businesses to assist in pushing for change, this is as follows:

  • Support UK Hospitality in its efforts to pressure the government into a fairer deal for hospitality
  • Encourage other hospitality businesses to get involved by emailing ceo@ukhospitality.org.uk
  • Lobby your local MPs for a fairer deal for hospitality
  • Share your stories on social media to gain wider understanding in the business community and general public

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