Belfast Telegraph

Heathrow tops list of biggest business rate bill payers

Retailers are also in the top 50 list despite calls to overhaul the tax system.

Heathrow Airport has the highest business rates bill in England and Wales (Steve Parsons/PA)
Heathrow Airport has the highest business rates bill in England and Wales (Steve Parsons/PA)

Retailers, airports and power stations have topped the list for having the biggest business rates bill in the UK this year, new research reveals.

The 50 largest rate paying sites in England and Wales will hand over £705 million in 2019, up 0.4% on a year ago, despite the actual tax rate rising 2.4% in line with inflation, according to data collated by business rates specialists Altus Group.

Topping the list is London’s Heathrow airport, with a rates bill of £117.96 million – although this was down from £122.15 million a year earlier, meaning the £4 million cut was the biggest reduction by value of any business premise in the country.

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Top ten business rates payers in England and Wales

Other sites around Heathrow that made the top 50 list also include British Airways’ Terminal 5 building, BA’s world cargo terminal and the airline’s engineering base with bills of £13.8 million, £22.4 million and £13.1 million.

Manchester, Gatwick and Stansted airports also feature in the list.

Business rates are paid by all commercial premises, raising the Treasury around £40 billion a year.

But in recent years businesses – particularly high street retailers – have been calling on the Government to overhaul the system, saying it benefits online operations who typically pay lower rates bills due to not having stores in towns and cities.

The latest figures could add pressure on ministers to act, particularly following a year of bloodbaths on the high street that has seen Debenhams, LK Bennett, HMV and House of Fraser – among others – all going bust in the last 12 months.

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Department store Selfridges has the highest business rates bill for any UK retailer

Several restaurant chains have also gone under or been forced into cutting rents through CVAs, including Jamie’s Italian, Prezzo, Giraffe and Byron Burgers, with most blaming high business rate bills for contributing to their woes.

Selfridges’ London department store tops the list of retailers with the highest rates bill, hitting £17.4 million this year, followed by Harrods, which will pay £17 million.

John Lewis’s Oxford Street store in London also makes the top 50, with a rates bill of £10.4 million.

Online giant Amazon also sneaks into the list for its London head office, which has a rates bill of £7.2 million for its 15 storey, 600,000 sq ft offices.

Elsewhere, huge factories and power stations enter the list, including EDF’s Sizewell B Power Station, Sellafield and Drax Power Station.

Former nuclear energy site Sellafield is the most expensive power station, with a bill of £26.6 million – although this was down on the £27.6 million paid a year earlier.

The Government could also miss out on £11.9 million due in rates from British Steel for its site in Scunthorpe, Lincs. Last month the business went bust and is now under the control of the Government’s insolvency service, with ministers keen to find a buyer.

TOP 50 BUSINESS RATEPAYERS IN ENGLAND & WALES
RATES PAYABLE 2019/20 (source Altus Group)

HEATHROW AIRPORT LTD, HEATHROW AIRPORT, HOUNSLOW
£117,955,934
GATWICK AIRPORT LTD, GATWICK AIRPORT, GATWICK, WEST SUSSEX
£30,441,600
SELLAFIELD LIMITED, SELLAFIELD WORKS, SELLAFIELD, SEASCALE, CUMBRIA
£26,632,658
SIZEWELL B POWER STATION, SIZEWELL, LEISTON, SUFFOLK
£24,002,156
BA ENGINEERING BASE, NO 1 MAINTENANCE AREA, HEATHROW AIRPORT
£22,421,960
HEYSHAM 2 POWER STATION, MORECAMBE, LANCS
£19,474,560
SELFRIDGES, OXFORD STREET, LONDON
£17,407,280
HARRODS, BROMPTON ROAD, LONDON
£17,066,680
VODAFONE FIBRE OPTIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK IN ENGLAND & WALES
£15,266,160
THE CHANNEL TUNNEL (WITHIN THE UK), SHAKESPEARE CLIFF, DOVER
£14,112,000
MANCHESTER AIRPORT, MANCHESTER
£13,910,400
BRITISH AIRWAYS, TERMINAL 5, HEATHROW AIRPORT
£13,807,400
HSBC, CANADA SQUARE, LONDON
£13,749,760
BA WORLD CARGO TERMINAL, HEATHROW AIRPORT
£13,133,581
BBC, BROADCASTING HOUSE, PORTLAND PLACE, LONDON
£12,953,280
BAA STANSTED AIRPORT, STANSTED AIRPORT, STANSTED, ESSEX
£12,136,320
JP MORGAN, BANK STREET, LONDON
£12,114,880
PORT OF FELIXSTOWE, THE DOCK, FELIXSTOWE DOCKS, FELIXSTOWE, SUFFOLK
£11,934,720
HOME OFFICE, MARSHAM STREET, LONDON
£11,894,800
BRITISH STEEL, BRIGG ROAD, SCUNTHORPE, LINCS
£11,663,079
ESSO REFINERY, MARSH LANE, FAWLEY, SOUTHAMPTON
£11,168,640
FRANCIS CRICK INSTITUTE, MIDLAND ROAD, LONDON
£10,742,000
UBS, BROADGATE, LONDON
£10,611,740
DRAX POWER STATION, SELBY, NORTH YORKSHIRE
£10,546,802
ST PANCRAS INTERNATIONAL STATION, PANCRAS ROAD, LONDON
£10,480,000
GOLMAN SACHS, FLEET STREET, LONDON
£10,447,750
HINKLEY POINT B POWER STATION, HINKLEY POINT, STOGURSEY, SOMERSET
£10,442,880
JOHN LEWIS, OXFORD STREET, LONDON
£10,432,840
CREDIT SUISSE, CABOT SQUARE, LONDON
£10,176,080
CITIBANK, CANADA SQUARE, LONDON
£10,092,240
GOOGLE, PANCRAS SQUARE, LONDON
£9,400,560
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER, OXFORD ROAD, MANCHESTER
£9,318,960
ROYAL LONDON HOSPITAL, WHITECHAPEL ROAD, LONDON
£9,159,520
HARTLEPOOL POWER STATION, TEES ROAD, HARTLEPOOL, CLEVELAND
£9,157,680
BARCLAYS BANK, CHURCHILL PLACE, CANARY WHARF, LONDON
£9,123,832
PORT TALBOT STEELWORKS, PORT TALBOT
£9,081,440
THE SECURIY SERVICE, MILLBANK, LONDON
£9,065,200
THE BRITISH LIBRARY, EUSTON ROAD, LONDON*
£8,850,360
NATIONAL GRID, GRAINLNG, ISLE OF GRAIN, ROCHESTER, KENT
£8,779,680
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE, WHITEHALL, LONDON
£8,666,960
PEMBROKE POWER STATION, PWLLCROCHAN, PEMBROKE
£8,651,040
HEYSHAM 1 POWER STATION, MORECAMBE, LANCS
£8,426,880
BEAUFORT INTERNATIONAL, MORE LONDON RIVERSIDE, LONDON
£7,791,880
JAGUAR LAND ROVER LTD, LODE LANE, SOLIHULL, WEST MIDLANDS
£7,706,160
KPMG, CANADA SQUARE, LONDON
£7,629,440
ALLEN & OVERY, BISHOPS SQUARE, BRUSHFIELD STREET, LONDON
£7,598,000
PWC, EMBANKMENT PLACE, LONDON
£7,529,880
METROPOLITAN POLICE, EMPRESS STATE BUILDING, LILLIE ROAD, LONDON
£7,461,760
LINKLATERS, SILK STREET, LONDON
£7,226,140
AMAZON, PRINCIPAL PLACE, WORSHIP STREET, LONDON
£7,157,840
*registered charity, eligible for 80% mandatory relief

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