Taxpayers are subsidising Jerwood Gallery

0
Have your say

IN last week’s edition of the Observer there were several references to the claim that the Jerwood Gallery received no subsidies.

Sorry to rain on their parade but it’s simply not true. They will not pay one penny in business rates, it’s enshrined in the Deed of Covenant, extract below.

“Business Rates” means the non-domestic or business rates assessed and charged on the gallery by the local authority or the equivalent charge from time to time replacing such charge;

2.2 The council hereby covenants with Gallerium that in the event that the rateable occupier is not entitled to discretionary relief from Business Rates then the council shall pay to Gallerium a sum equal to any business rates that the rateable occupier is liable for from time to time upon demand and shall indemnify and keep indemnified the rateable occupier and Gallerium in respect of any business rates which may be payable by the rateable occupier......

“Ground rent” They get the HBC-owned land for a peppercorn rent, essentially for free.

Sorry, but the business rate relief is worth between £60,000 and £70,000 per year and goodness knows what a commercial ground rent would be for such a prime location. Subsidies are being provided by local taxpayers and I defy HBC or Jerwood to argue otherwise.

ALAN SMITH

SOS secretary