Are you the owner of vacant property currently attracting the full amount of Business Rates?
Artcore is involved in several projects under the general title of Creative Guardianship.
This is a mechanism which enables the Charity to secure space for arts purposes via the protection and occupation of suitable properties that may have fallen vacant awaiting either new tenants or the commencement of proposed development plans.
The procedure is as follows:
The Charity takes on a six-month ‘meanwhile’ lease of the premises at a peppercorn rate with a 30-day Landlord’s break option allowing the lease to be terminated relatively quickly should circumstances change [i.e. new tenants found, changes to the development timetable etc].
The lease would then be renewed upon expiry should the period of vacancy be further extended.
The premises is then utilised by the Charity for creative purposes for the duration of our occupation.
This would mostly take the form of artists studios and rehearsal space, or galleries and exhibitions.
It may be that we would install artists as guardians for added security, if the premises are deemed suitable.
As the Charity is entitled to 80% Mandatory Charitable Rates Relief if the property is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes, this will then reduce the rates liability for the premises down to 20% of the full amount.
Artcore undertakes to apply for this relief, and the responsibility for payment of the rates bill is then taken by the Landlord as a term of the lease.
By employing this mechanism we hope to effectively partner our support and encouragement of the creativity of artists with the reduction of the burden of transitional costs for the Landlord of temporarily vacant property, and also increase the potential for the constructive use of vacant space.