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Why did the iconic Kensington Roof Gardens shut?

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Crippling rates bills helped pull the plug on Kensington Roof Gardens, one of London’s most glamorous party venues, according to Colliers International, the commercial real estate agency and consultancy, and could very well affect other top night spots in the capital too. KRG which hit the news this week when it announced it was closing its doors and making its 85 club and restaurant staff redundant, after 35 years of trading, had been hit by a 47 per cent rise in its Rateable Value following the 2017 Rating Revaluation, making its total business operating costs totally untenable. 

The club has seen a rise in Rateable Value from £402,500 in the 2010 list to £590,000 in 2017. In terms of actual rates paid this meant its rates bill would have been over £86,000 higher at £294,410 in 2017/2018 as opposed to £208,092.50 in 2016/17, a rise of over 41 per cent. And these figures were on their way up further, given the Government’s 5 years transition scheme. By 2021/22 Kensington Roof Gardens would have been paying a crippling rates bill of £328,630 a year.

2016/17 Rates Liability 2017/18 Rates Liability 2018/19 Rates Liability 2019/20 Rates Liability 2020/21 Rates Liability 2021/22 Rates Liability
£208,092.5 £294,410.00 £302,670.00 £310,930.00 £319,780.00 £328,630.00

“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,” said John Webber Head of Business Rating at Colliers International,  “creating an increasing drain on their operators.” 

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




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