Rating experts at Harris Lamb have successfully challenged a Valuation Office assessment on behalf of a Chesterfield tannery, resulting in its business rates assessment being slashed by over £50,000.

Working on behalf of Spire Leather, one of the few remaining traditional leather tanneries in the country, the business’ Rating team spent months working through the VO’s Check, Challenge process to submit a case against its assessment of the tannery.

Nigel Fletcher, of Harris Lamb, said: “The VO had assessed Spire Leather for the 2017 rating list at Rateable Value of £117,000 with effect from April 1st 2017 – almost a 50 per cent increase on the previous 2010 List Rateable Value of £59,500.

“This created serious financial issues for the company and we were instructed to evaluate the business and follow the arduous Check Challenge Appeal process to have it reassessed.

“The process is not straight forward and took nearly 12 months, but it paid off: our efforts resulted in a £53,000 reduction to a Rateable Value of £64,000 with effect from April 1st 2017, with resulting significant refunds and savings in liability.

“We’re delighted to have secured this outcome, which is a perfect example of why, time consuming though it may be, it’s worth going through this process when a business feels its Rateable Value assessment is unreasonable,” he added.

Peter Bird, Director at Spire Leather, said: “I am thrilled that Nigel and the team were able to appeal against the VO’s assessment and secure such significant savings for us.

“To be hit with an increase of £57,500 in our Rateable Value came as a dreadful shock and would have had severe consequences for us as a business. Harris Lamb has successfully averted this outcome for us. I’d advise any business concerned about such an increase in charges to take the same route to resolution,” he added.

Harris Lamb’s Business Rates team can be reached on nigel.fletcher@harrislamb.com and andrew.hulbert@harrislamb.com.