22 Nov 2022

Winners and Losers in The New Rating List


With the publication of the draft list for the 2023 revaluation, John Webber of Colliers assesses who are the winners and losers and urges businesses to check their new RVs- as they still have it all to play for

The Government's draft rating list for the 2023 Revaluation, published hot on the heels of the Autumn budget reveals that UK retailers are the biggest winners from the new list, whereas operators of large warehouses and logistic / distribution space will see the biggest jump in their rates bills when the new Revaluation comes into force next April.

But according to John Webber, head of business rates at Colliers, there are still large discrepancies on the List, with the result many companies should think carefully about approaching the valuation office agency before the list becomes live on 1 April 2023.

Winners - retailers

The retail sector on average has seen a 10 per cent decrease in Rateable Value (RV) in the next list- the only sector to show a decrease. Together with the decision to freeze the multiplier at 51.2 p for large businesses and 49.9p for smaller businesses, this is good news for retailers who will be seeing a reduction in their rates bills in April.

This news has been enhanced by the removal of downwards transition, as announced in the Autumn statement- since it means retail occupiers will pay the true lower rates payable for their stores immediately the new list starts.

According to John Webber “We are expecting to see substantial business rates bills reductions across England and Wales, not just on high street locations but in retail parks and shopping centres and other out of town locations.”

The 10 per cent decrease in RVs is an average - In some locations, RV reductions of 30 or 40 per cent are expected.

Large department stores and hypermarkets are among the biggest winners of the revaluation, for example in Oxford Street in London, RVs have fallen by approximately 30 per cent, but some stores, such as Selfridges has seen its RV drop 45 per cent from £30.5 million to £16.8 million with the new list.

Nearby in Knightsbridge, Harrods has seen an RV reduction from £32.7 million to 16.8 million. The rates bills of these stores will correspondingly drop 45 per cent are expected to be £8.6 million and £9.2 million respectively.

And as the table below shows other major shopping centres will see also see substantial reductions, which will be reflected in rates bills in April.



Percentage Change

Oxford St, London

Between 25 to 30 per cent decrease

Bull Ring Birmingham

Up to 40 per cent decrease

Manchester Arndale

34 per cent decrease

Broadmead, Bristol

Up to 44 per cent decrease

Northumberland Newcastle

Up to 36 per cent decrease

St David's Cardiff, Wales

20 per cent decrease

Elsewhere in many towns and cities in the North, there have been even larger falls in values. In Market Street in Barnsley Town Centre values have fallen by 47 per cent on this new rating list.

Webber continued, “Rates bills are not the only economic pressure on retailers, particularly with the energy crisis, rising service charges and staffing costs but by freezing the multiplier and removing downwards transition allowing rates bills to fairly reflect rents, if a retail business fails in 2023 or beyond, it is unlikely to be because of business rates.”

Losers - logistics

The industrial and logistic sector has certainly been hit the hardest in this new revaluation reflecting the higher rents at the time of the antecedent valuation date in April 2021, as industrial take up figures rose across large areas across the country.

As a result of this, there has been an increase in the Rateable Values for many industrial properties, with the VOA confirming the industrial sector showed an average 27.1 per cent increase in Rateable Value, the largest increase out of all of the sectors.

Earlier in the year, Colliers predicted a rise across the full sector averaging between 20 per cent and 30 per cent and the most prime stock even higher, rising to 50 per cent. It looks as though our predictions have come true.

The table below shows the increases in rateable value industrial property of some of the best quality industrial and distribution space in the most prime locations of the country.



Percentage Change

Park Royal, London

30 per cent increase

The Fort Industrial, Birmingham

27 per cent increase

Trafford Park, Manchester

Up to 30 per cent increase

Vertex Business Park, Bristol

Up to 48 per cent increase

Washington, Newcastle

33 per cent increase

Wrexham Industrial Estate, Wales

33 per cent increase

Wakefield Europort, Leeds

Up to 45 per cent increase

Doncaster Iport

Up to 37 per cent increase

Some are even higher - the rateable value of Amazon's warehouse at Tilbury in Essex for example has risen by 74 per cent to £12.3 million.

However, it's not all doom and gloom for the logistics sector. In the Autumn statement the Chancellor announced upward transitional relief caps to support ratepayers facing large bill increases following the revaluation, with £1.6 billion of support funded by the Exchequer.

This will spread out the increases for the big logistics facilities. The introduction of upward caps of 5 per cent,15 per cent and 30 per cent for small, medium and large properties in 2023-24 will also reduce the pain and will be applied before any other reliefs or supplement.

Occupiers of industrial and logistics properties will therefore receive some sort of cushion. As Webber comments, “Many occupiers of these properties were aware they had been paying too little for too long in terms of business rates, particularly given the extension of the list to six years and have been preparing to see substantial rises. Now businesses in the sector have certainty to plan for the year ahead.”


In general, rateable values have risen in the office sector but not to the same extent as the industrial sector. RVs adopted on city centre offices have in the main increased across the country, with the levels of increase varying depending on the location (with prime offices showing the greatest rises.) For some more secondary, Grade B offices, RVs will have remained the same. Again, this table shows some of the rises in prime city centre stock.



Percentage Change

Fenchurch St, London

21 per cent increase

Colmore Row, Birmingham

Up to 14 per cent increase

St Peter's Sq. Manchester M2 3AA

5 per cent increase

One, Glass Wharf, Bristol

5 per cent increase

Central Square, Newcastle

8 per cent increase

Fusion Point 2, Cardiff

11 per cent increase

Wellington Place, Leeds

26 per cent increase

Going Forward - appealing against assessment - two tier system

Headline figures revealed are obviously averages and there still is a lot of discrepancy in the list. Fortnum and Masons in Piccadilly for example has only seen a 5 per cent reduction in its RV, which seems suspiciously low.

As John Webber continued, “What is becoming obvious is that those occupiers and owners of properties that either themselves or via agents made representation to the VOA during the assessment process appear to have been more successful in negotiating their bills down. Given the VOA was assessing properties in the midst of Covid when many properties were temporarily closed, or deals were being struck with landlords, a proper assessment was something of a minefield.

“We therefore urge anyone who is unhappy about their RVs to consider making representation to the VOA now if the figures look significantly wrong and consider the appeal process when the list becomes live next April . We believe this will lead to even further reductions in RVs, particularly in the retail sector and could provide some respite in offices too.”

So, what now?

According to Colliers, overall, the government's decision to freeze the multiplier, abolish downward transition and cap the largest rate bill rises is to be complimented. As John Webber said, “It is a massive relief that the government finally listened to us and other industry bodies about out-of-control business rates rises following the next valuation and by freezing the multiplier and removing downwards transition has at last recognised that the business rates system cannot be revenue neutral without causing significant hardship.”

“However,” he warns, “…there is still massive need for overall reform- to the reliefs system, to appeals to empty rates, to using the rates system to incentivise investment in sustainability. We hope the Chancellor follows through on his earlier pledge to look at the system as a whole.”

The government also needs to stick to its manifesto commitment of reducing the overall burden of business rates and I read in trepidation in the OBR report that the Government is now forecasting that income from business rates are expected to rise to £36 billion by 2027 (from £2 .5 billion in 2022/23), which appears contrary to this pledge.”

“There is still everything to play for and we will be at the forefront in negotiating with the VOA and the government for both our clients and UK businesses in general.”