Leicester City Council Uncovers an Additional £900,000 of Rateable Value
Leicester City Council, a unitary authority in the East Midlands, provides services to a population of around 330,000. As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, ONS projections indicate the city will be home to 400,000 inhabitants by around 2035. Leicester has the second largest economy in the East Midlands, after Nottingham. The city has historically had a strong association with the production of textiles, clothing and shoes with companies such as Next and Boden still active there. In recent years the higher transport prices and longer lead-times associated with globalised production in Asia mean some textile manufacturers are locating to the city – a promising platform for future growth.
Identifying and validating new or additional rateable value is costly, potentially difficult and time consuming. Businesses expanding their operations or new hereditaments can appear under the Council’s radar and keeping track of such changes is very difficult. Like many authorities across the UK, Leicester City Council wanted to ensure all organisations were paying the correct business rates to protect the public purse.
Leicester City Council engaged Capacitygrid to help with this issue. The Capacitygrid RV Finder service manages the full Business Rates review cycle – it not only provides data matching and analysis to validate properties but, in addition, offers extensive customer contact support. This includes letter and telephone reviews, inspections and call handling; liaison with the Valuation Office and cross-system processing to guarantee results as quickly and efficiently as possible. The RV Finder service focuses upon additional items that are either unrated or under-rated and gathers the right evidence and in the right format to be able to refer directly to the Valuation Office. RV Finder is a tried and tested solution that has been used by over forty local authorities across the UK and what’s more is delivered entirely on a risk/reward basis with a 35:1 ROI.
So far, for Leicester City Council 319 cases have been referred to the VOA – 204 have been successfully returned confirming £900,000 in rateable value and delivering £1,150,000 in additional revenue in 2020/21.
Across the UK, the RV Finder service has additionally:
“Following a tendering process Capacity Grid was of two suppliers engaged by the Council to maximise its business rates income. The RV Finder service from Capacitygrid has really helped us ensure that our data is as accurate as possible and, when the VOA has processed the outstanding cases, I fully expect to see more than £1,000,000 of additional RV. The “risk and reward” model works well and the Council only has to pay for their success and the service is something that we will use on a regular basis.”
Steve King, Revenues & Benefits Team Leader, Leicester City Council