Increases are said to be untenable

Paul Masterton at the Enchanted Forest nursery in Thornliebank
Paul Masterton at the Enchanted Forest nursery in Thornliebank

An increase in business rates across East Renfrewshire may lead to some nurseries having to increase prices or risk closing their doors.

Information obtained by the offices of Paul Masterton MP and Jackson Carlaw MSP claim that East Renfrewshire Council has not carried out any assessment on the impact of increased business rates on children’s nurseries.

The Enchanted Forest nursery in Thornliebank is having to fund an annual increase of £62,000 while Elmwood Nursery School in Newton Mearns saw their rates rise by £25,750.

This follows the release of the Barclay Review which has called for nurseries as well as new builds and new businesses to be given temporary tax relief.

Commenting East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton said: “These are not multinational companies for whom these increases would be negligible but small to businesses who will have no choice but to move these costs to customers.

“Having met with Enchanted Forest, I have heard first-hand the real concerns these business owners have about their ability to pay the increases.

Council Leader Tony Buchanan said: “Contrary to the claims being made, the council has assessed the impact of non-domestic rate changes for partner nursery providers in our area. We wrote to nurseries individually to advise what these changes meant for them and to offer early guidance as to the process for appeal in advance of the deadline later this month.

“It is important to clarify the council has no power or controls over setting these rates however there are number of relief schemes to help businesses which we highlight.

Mariessa Devlin, a director of the business said: “We are facing increases in our business rates of 155%. I have been encouraged by the recommendations of the Barclay Review, however we still face significant hikes in our rates which are £3000 per month. I would urge the Scottish Government to consider swift action on the review recommendations which will enable us to continue to provide affordable childcare for families and to continue to invest in our staff team.”