WORD ON THE GROUND: By NFU South Holland branch group secretary Andrew Cross
Recent campaigning by the NFU, on behalf of it’s members, has led to a Government decision that ensures nursery growers are treated equally to other agricultural businesses regarding business rates. This represents a significant win for the industry which is so important in South Holland.
A recent statement given to the NFU by Minister for Local Government, Rishi Sunak MP, confirmed that plant nurseries will be covered under the agricultural exemption for business rates, in line with other agricultural businesses.
The move, the NFU says, will help redress an inconsistency in legislation which currently excludes nursery grounds growing mainly or entirely under cover from the exemption. In addition, the move acknowledges the importance of the exemption to the industry, particularly with Brexit causing uncertainty for farming and growing businesses.
The NFU was supported in its lobbying by the British Growers’ Association and the Horticultural Trade Association.
NFU deputy president Guy Smith said: “Over the past three years we have been campaigning hard and engaging with various Government departments, including Defra, to address what we believe to be an anomaly – and not Parliament’s intention – one which would have had damaging widespread implications for the nursery growers and the wider horticultural industry which depends on them”
It is always pleasing to be able to pass on news of lobbying successes, particularly when it has a direct bearing on the local community.