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Concerns over escalating studios business rate revaluations

Last Modified March 01, 2024

We've written to our local MP calling for advocacy on behalf of TV and film studios to find a solution over escalating revaluations in business rates. 

Managing Director, Sajida Bijle, has written to The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE, both in his capacity as Hertsmere MP and Deputy Prime Minister, highlighting the latest position with the revaluations and explaining how this is impacting both on the council-owned Elstree Studios and more widely in the borough and industry. 

Leader of the Council, Cllr Jeremy Newmark, also highlighted the issue in response to a public question at a Full Council meeting on Wednesday, 28 February, describing the issue as ‘outrageous’.  

In his response, Cllr Newmark explained that the rateable value for Elstree Studios has been revalued from £635,000 per year to £3m, a 372 per cent increase; whilst the new Platinum Stages which is valued separately has seen an increase from £615,000 to £1.2m.   

Cllr Newmark, who is also Chair of Elstree Studios’ Board, commented: “We are challenging these outrageous valuation increases through the Valuations Office’s appeal process but we feel most strongly that our local MP should be actively taking up this cause and pushing for a solution.

“This revaluation poses a significant adverse effect on Hertsmere, given the positive contribution the film and TV sector has on the local economy as well as the inward investment it brings into the area and the country more widely.

“This increase comes at a time when the industry is already facing substantial financial difficulties due to the recent writers’ strike in the USA, causing productions to be put on hold.  This additional burden will severely affect investments in both the physical infrastructure as well as production.”

The response to the council question can be viewed 39 minutes into the meeting on the webcast  

Posted on Friday 1st March 2024

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