Business rate rises rendered Kensingt…


The closure of the iconic Kensington Roof Gardens followed a 47% increase in its rateable value that rendered the business “untenable”, according to global real estate business Colliers International.

It was revealed that the London party venue had closed its doors after 37 years earlier this week, with “unpredictable market conditions” blamed for the business’ struggle to turn a profit.

The venue had been run by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and included a night club and the award-winning Babylon restaurant.

The exclusive Grade II-listed location, famous for its landscaped gardens complete with flamingos, had seen a rise in rateable value from £402,500 to £590,000.

Colliers reported that this would have cost the business £86,000 more in its 2017/2018 business rates bill, reaching £294,410.

The real estate business predicted these figures were on their way up further and by 2021/22 the Roof Gardens would have had to pay £328,630 a year.

John Webber, head of business rating at Colliers International, said: “The dead duck of business rates is seeing off the pink flamingos at Kensington Roof Gardens, like so many other venues in the nightlife sector, creating an increasing drain on their operators.

“Such businesses have been impacted by the rises in rents, by the rise in the NLW (National Living Wage) and rising prices linked to inflation and are feeling increasingly vulnerable as they struggle to gets costs under control.

“There has been a lot of comment about how pubs and bars across the country are closing because of onerous business rate rises, but it’s interesting that the high-end London leisure scene is being affected too.”

Colliers predicted that other top London nightspots, including in NW1 and W1 postcodes, could also be under threat from rising business rates.

The Roof Gardens closes its doors after 37 years blaming ‘unpredictable market conditions’>>

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