Locals fight to save pub hit by shock rates rise
ACOMMUNITY is rallying to save a pub after business rates nearly DOUBLED.
The Robin Hood is the last pub in Rainow and is hailed as a vital community hub where residents regularly meet to socialise and discuss community matters.
But it is at risk of closing after a sharp increase in business rates – rising from £5,300 to a whopping £9,000 a year.
Landlords Robert and Suzanne Price – who already supplement their income with another job – say they simply can’t afford this hike and went to the parish council to ask for help.
Now a community group has been launched to save the pub.
The group is signing up volunteers to pull pints behind the bar and is looking for cash donations to keep the pub going.
Suzanne, 49, who has a son James and daughter Samantha, said: “The business rates rise is killing the pub. Our rates are based on our turnover.
“We have a good turnover, but not a good profit because our overheads are expensive. It’s terrible for local pubs like ours.
“We could walk away but we want to keep the pub going for the village, but we can’t do that without help.
“We don’t take a profit from the pub ourselves, Robert works another job in customer service at Wickes to pay our bills. We do it because we live in the village and don’t want the pub to close.”
Suzanne and Robert pay business rates to the council each year. It’s a tax on commercial properties based on the ‘rateable value’ of the property, but with pubs this is based on turnover.
Rates are increasing because the government has carried out a review of rateable values. The couple will receive a small reduction for the first year, but will be expected to find £9,000 on top of what they earn.
When the parish council heard about the problem, Coun Ken Butler, 78, held a public meeting, with 140 people attending. The Robin Hood Community Group was set up and hopes to run the pub as a Community Interest Company in future.
Ken, who has lived in Rainow for 27 years, said: “Suzanne and Robert were just about keeping their heads above water but the rates increase is the final straw. For villages like ours the pub is the social hub and we’ve only got the Robin Hood left.
“Suzanne and Robert are doing a great job, the pub is really popular with locals. It would be a great loss to the village.”
Suzanne and Robert Price are landlords at the only pub in Rainow, the Robin Hood, which is under threat after a massive hike in business rates
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