Business Rates

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Business rates review – hydro sector response

Derek Mackay the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution announced on the 12th of September a 60% relief on business rates for small-scale hydro schemes from the 1st of April 2018.

Adrian Loening, Chairman of the British Hydropower Association said:

“The 60 percent relief for hydro schemes is very welcome news – this was the solution proposed to Mr Mackay by the British Hydropower Association and will bring rates for smaller hydro projects down to around ten percent of turnover, which is comparable to the rates paid by other industries.

“We are very grateful for this, and we continue to press government to ensure that the relief will extend to schemes up to 5MW – which meet the UK definition of small-scale hydro.

“Longer-term, we are pleased the Scottish Government has recognised the anomalies in setting rates for hydro schemes, and with other industry organisations the BHA looks forward to contributing to the forthcoming fast-track review of the Plant and Machinery Order which we hope will address these issues,” Loening concludes.



Adrian Loening BHA Chairman 07831 288901

Simon Hamlyn, Chief Executive Officer, British Hydropower Association 07788 278422

Notes for editors

After the announcement made today by Derek Mackay the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, the British Hydropower Association is very pleased that the government has listened to their request made at a recent meeting with Mr Mackay to apply a 60% discount on business rates for all hydro schemes up to 1MW from the 1st of April 2018, whilst the review of the Plant and Machinery Order is being undertaken.

The BHA CEO, Simon Hamlyn, who was called by Mr Mackay before the announcement was made at Holyrood, thanked him very much for his support and swift action on business rates since the Barclay review report was published, but stressed that the discount must be extended and applied to schemes up to 5MW to ensure a level playing field.

Government officials subsequently confirmed to the BHA that their intention was to address this issue and were considering options on how the discount could be extended for the larger schemes.

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