Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith has written to the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, ahead of the budget next week requesting that business rates relief is extended to riding schools and livery yards.
There are at least ten equine businesses scattered throughout the South Downs, some of whose rateable value has increased by as much as 62% since the 2017 revaluation. Riding schools and livery yards are an important part of the social fabric of rural areas and their traditions, as well as being vital contributors to the countryside economy.
Addressing the Chancellor, Mr Griffith wrote: “I believe there is an excellent and affordable case that this cut to business rates be extended to other small businesses, namely, riding schools and livery yards which are struggling to survive under the current burden of business rates. These businesses are very much at the heart of our rural communities, providing much needed local employment and the opportunity for both children and adults to engage in physical activity.”
Horse yards have struggled under the current burden of business rates. There are 1.8 million regular riders in the UK and the equestrian sector contributes £4.7 billion to the economy.
Commenting on the letter, Mr Griffith said: “I am proud to speak up for our riding schools and livery yards, which deserve to be supported as a key part of our South Downs communities and West Sussex’s economy.”