Parliamentary success for nursery growers after years of NFU work

Years of work from the NFU has resulted in a bill being laid in Parliament today that ensures nursery growers are treated equally to other agricultural businesses regarding business rates.

The Non Domestic Rates (Nursery Grounds) Bill confirms that plant nurseries in England will be covered under the agricultural exemption for business rates, along with other agricultural businesses.

The current legislation currently excludes nursery grounds growing mainly or entirely under cover from the exemption.

NFU Deputy President Guy Smith said: “This is a significant victory for nursery growers, and brings them in line with other farm businesses and providing essential certainty for the future.

“The NFU has been working hard behind the scenes with Defra and MHCLG to deliver this result for our members and I am pleased that the government has acted upon the case we made.

“The decision to rectify this anomaly will prevent the wider horticultural industry suffering significant negative implications, and will allow growers to continue doing what they do best – producing food for the nation.”

Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak MP said: “Plant nurseries are an essential part of the rural economy and it is vital they are protected.”

In some individual cases, NFU members will see very substantial and unsustainable charges either waived or reimbursed.

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.