Sizewell B and Port of Felixstowe among UK's top business rates payers
PUBLISHED: 10:33 03 June 2019
EDF's Sizewell B power station, Stansted Airport and the Port of Felixstowe are among the top business rate payers in the UK, figures have revealed.
The two major Suffolk operations are poised among the 50 largest rate paying sites in England and Wales, who combined will hand over £705million in 2019, up 0.4% on a year ago, according to data collated by business rates specialists Altus Group.
The French-owned Sizewell B power station's 2019 bill of £24m sees the coastal powerhouse rank as the fourth highest billed commercial property in the UK, falling between former nuclear energy site Sellafield in Cumbria and the BA engineering base at Heathrow Airport, paying £26.6m and £22.4m respectively.
EDF's bill could rise following construction of Sizewell C.
Elsewhere in the top 50, the Port of Felixstowe - Britain's busiest container port - will foot a bill of £11.9m in 2019/20 for its 8,360.
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In Essex, Stansted Airport - which is set to expand to carry 43 million passengers - has been billed slightly more at £12.1m.
Topping the list was Heathrow Airport, paying a whopping £117.9m, with Gatwick Airport following distantly behind at £30.4m.
The figures come amid debates that the government should overhaul the existing business rates system, which high street retailers say benefits online operations who typically pay lower rates due to not having stores in towns and cities.
The latest figures could add pressure on ministers to act, particularly following a year of bloodbaths on the high street that has seen Debenhams, LK Bennett, HMV and House of Fraser - among others - all going bust in the last 12 months.
Several restaurant chains have also gone under or been forced into cutting rents through CVAs, including Jamie's Italian, Prezzo, Giraffe and Byron Burgers, with most blaming high business rate bills for contributing to their woes.
Online giant Amazon also sneaks into the list for its London HQ, which has a rates bill of £7.2 m for its 15 storey, 600,000 sq ft offices.
All commerical premises are required to pay business rates, raising the Treasury around £40billion a year.