THE proprietors of an award-winning Baughurst restaurant claim that a planned 250-per-cent hike in rates from April is threatening the future of their business.
Manager of The Wellington Arms, Simon Page, who runs the restaurant with his partner, head chef Jason King, are “very distraught” by the proposed increase.
“We believe we are going to suffer a 250-per-cent increase on our annual rates bill from April 17, which could be detrimental to the future of our business,” said Mr Page.
He added that the rateable value of the property, in Baughurst Road, voted Hampshire Dining Pub of the Year in 2015 and 2016 was likely to rocket.
He said the rise was likely to impact on local employment as it could result in scrapping plans to take on more staff.
Mr Page has contacted the North West Hampshire MP, Kit Malthouse (Con), highlighting the concerns.
A spokesman for Mr Malthouse, Ethan Brooks, said in a statement on Monday: “I can confirm that they have been in touch and that Kit has been in telephone and email contact with them. Kit is aware of the issue and is looking into their case.”
The rise in rateable value of the property, which forced the business rate rise, is due to revaluations which usually happen every five years.
However, the 2015 reset was postponed ahead of the last general election.
Some businesses are expecting a fall in business rates from April.
The Wellington Arms celebrated its 10th anniversary in November 2015.
Awards at The Wellington Arms – where livestock including pigs, sheep, hens and bees are kept – include: two AA rosettes (2008); 2011 Jason King (Best Pub Chef, Good Food Guide); 2012 Jason King (Pub Chef of the Year, Morning Advertiser); 2015 and 2016 Hampshire Dining Pub of the Year.
For more information visit www.thewellingtonarms.com.
Are you a North Hampshire business owner affected by a rise in business rates? Email jane.meredith@newbury news.co.uk.