Business Rates Levy Meets with Opposition in Scotland

Proposals to impose a business rates levy on out of town retailers in Scotland have met with opposition from many groups and businesses. Articles in The Telegraph and the Courier amongst others specifically mention the difficulties faced by garden centres if the new out of town levy were to be introduced.

The introduction of the new levy would have an adverse impact on almost all garden centres in Scotland. The new levy has the potential to threaten the profitability of businesses, many of which already operate on small margins.  This could lead to these businesses being forced to make cuts, such as a reduction in the number of staff they employ, thus impacting the rural economy. 

Simon Fraser of Ben Reid Garden Centre represented the HTA last week at a roundtable event organised by the Scottish Retail Consortium. At the event he spoke to Derek Mackay, Scottish Minister for Finance and Kate Forbes MSP (Minister responsible for business rates) about the difficulties the new out of town levy would mean for garden centres. The state of the business rates appeal process in Scotland was also discussed along with the fact that business rates have increased significantly for many horticultural businesses and HTA members already, and any new levies would place a serious burden on already over taxed retailers.

The HTA recently responded to the Scottish Government asking them to look very carefully at the Barclay implementation recommendations, and requested that Garden Centres, as unique out of town businesses, were exempt from any extra levies. 

The HTA Response to the Barclay Implementation Recommendations

HTA Response to Barclay Implementation Consultation


The SRC Scottish Budget Report for retailers

SRC Scottish Budget Report 2018


For further information please contact Sally Cullimore, Policy Executive at the HTA. Tel 01235 776496. E-mail


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