Voscur is advising VCSE organisations in Bristol that have a turnover greater than £100,000 to prepare for cuts to discretionary rate relief.
Bristol City Council is one of many local authorities across the country that has chosen to cut the business rates relief that it provides to charities in order to help balance its budget.
In our original announcement of the proposal back in March, we identified 19 groups receiving rates relief. We also voiced concern that these savings would be counter-productive as they could result in service reductions in local communities. We called for affected groups to be given time to plan for the changes to enable them to minimise the impact on service delivery on the ground.
The saving was originally proposed earlier this year; however, the council extended the scheme by 12 months after Voscur helped to demonstrate that many VCSE groups had not had not been given enough notice to factor the additional cost into their budget and would have to close if it were levied.
This extension period is nearly up and Bristol City Council have stated that they will not extend the scheme again. Organisations that have not already done so should prepare for potentially significant additional costs their organisation could incur – an average of around £8,000 per organisation.
Voscur provides a range of advice and support to VCSE organisations. If your organisation needs help in preparing for the withdrawal of discretionary relief then please get in touch.