Milton Keynes pub to stay open after winning appeal over massive rates bill

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A pub is to stay open after successfully challenging a 260 per cent rise in its rates.

The Eight Belles in Bletchley faced an increase from £18,000 a year to £47,000 a year.

To make matters worse they were ordered to pay a backdated amount of £30,000 - by January 1.

Owned by three friends who clubbed together two years ago to take over the lease, the pub faced closure due to the crippling bill.

The Citizen reported its predicament and there was a wave of online sympathy from readers.

This month the trio appealed to the government valuation officers who are responsible for setting the levels of rates.

The amount has now been slashed to £27,000.

“It’s a lot better news and it means we can stay open and make sure business is booming,” said partner Wayne Bell.

“Unfortunately we still have a massive backdate of around £18,000, but we can just about cope with that,” he added.

“To say thank you to the readers who sympathised with us, we’re even offering them 20 per cent off the food at weekday lunchtimes if they mention the Milton Keynes Citizen!”

Though the government set the rates, local authorities are in charge of collecting them.

The pub runs successful pie and mash nights every Monday, with staff driving to London to collect the original Cockney delicacies.

They have band nights every other Saturday and quiz nights on Thursdays.