“Business rates can be a massive cost to occupiers of all commercial properties, and it's a great feeling when you help a company with its everyday running by lowering their liabilities and making a difference.”
Working within the Professional Services Department at our Nottingham office, my role covers Rating, Valuation and Compulsory Purchase work. I work for a number of local and national clients requiring me to undertake a diverse range of work, which is one of the best parts of my job.
Day to day, our Business Rates team is involved with all commercial property types, which I’ve experienced from my first day at FHP. More specifically, I head up our Shopping Centre Rating work giving bespoke advice to shopping centre landlords with emphasis on rates auditing, empty rates strategy, budgeting and challenging the 2010 Rating List.
I also concentrate on providing specialist rating advice to our Blue Light Estate clients with savings made last year of nearly £1million.
- Rating agents for 9 Shopping Centres across the country, including Market Place in Bolton and Fishergate Centre in Preston, managing rates payments and mitigating liabilities.
- Advising Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service on their portfolio of properties and reducing the Rateable Value on the Headquarters from £310,000 to £220,000, saving over £320,000.
- Retained on behalf of Penmark Cards, Keith Hall hairdressing, Cardzone and other national retailers to provide advice on Business Rates and lodge appeals against the current 2010 Rating List assessments.
- Part 1 compensation claims for residential clients following the expansion of the A46 between Newark and Widmerpool.
I’ve been brought up with a great appreciation for sport, which stands me in good stead here at FHP, where cricket and golf are a must! Although I’m a much better spectator than I am player, I get involved when possible and I love the social aspect that sport combines with work.
Being a country girl at heart I spend as much of my evening and weekend time as possible outdoors – I live on a farm so there’s always an opportunity to help out, quad bike or walk our four (!) troublesome mutts. Beyond this, a big passion of mine is food, whether it be cooking or eating, and friends and colleagues know me as the go-to-girl for restaurant recommendations.
“FHP did a fantastic job reviewing all properties across our estate which included 33 stations and the headquarters site, this resulted is some positive rating reviews across the entire estate reducing our rates bill by over £100k per annum, and including the backdated appeals saved the Authority around £750k. We are delighted with the outcome of this review, and the very professional approach by the FHP team, a great result.”
David Greensmith, Director of Finance, Assets and Resources – Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
“Since instructing the business rates team at FHP to look at our retail portfolio 18 months ago we have seen a steady flow of rateable value reductions and subsequent refunds. We have used FHP as our property consultants for 6 years for agency matters and have always been pleased with the results, and I’m very pleased we extended this business relationship to looking at our rates liabilities as well. At every step Jessica has been professional and knowledgeable and I would recommend her and the business rates team to anyone based on their work to date.”
Mark Rees, Director – Penmark Cards
“We have been delighted with the level of service that Jessica has provided when looking at the Business Rates for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service. Over the last 18 months they have assessed each station, sorted discretionary reliefs from Councils, and appealed many of the Rateable Values. The savings from these appeals and associated auditing to date total near on £100,000 which is very welcome news in what are very austere times for many Fire and Rescue Services. At each step of the process we have been kept informed of progress and savings achieved, and I would not hesitate to recommend the Business Rates team to others as efficient, knowledgeable and dedicated in helping their clients save money"”
Rob Wood – Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service - July 2013
“The team at FHP have been providing my Shopping Centre with rating advice over the last 5 years and I have been delighted with their service and results. They have proactively challenged and obtained reductions in the levels of Rateable Values and constantly monitor changes so that no opportunities for making savings are lost. I would have no hesitation in recommending their services and am looking forward to them continuing to achieve great results for the Centre.”
Rod Neasham, Centre Manager – Market Place Shopping Centre, Bolton
“FHP has been providing business rates advice to the owners of my Centre since April 2008 and we have built up an excellent working relationship with them over this time. They proactively challenge all aspects of business rates liability for us with outstanding results. The team ensure our exposure is minimised to the lowest possible levels, they have their ears to the ground and act upon local information provided in a swift and expedient manner. I would have no hesitation in recommending their services and thank them for all their endeavours to date.”
Derek Millar, Centre Manager – The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre, Birkenhead