Exeter City Council wins landmark victory on rateable value of RAMM museum buildings 6 Jul 2020

Exeter City Council has won its long-running court case, establishing the rateable value of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. As a result of the case, the rateable value will be set at £1, backdated to April 2015; its previous rateable value was £445,000. The latest round of litigation began when the Valuation Office appealed against a ruling made in August 2018 in favour of Exeter City Council, leading to its case being heard at the Royal Courts of Justice. The Valuation Office has now been refused any further appeals. The result should have implications for many other museums, which will now also be able to drastically reduce their rates payments. Councillor Rachel Sutton said “like all other local authorities, Exeter is facing huge financial challenges and the new rateable value will represent a substantial saving at a critical time… our hope all along was that this judgement would also benefit other museums and the communities they serve. We are extremely grateful to ACE and NMDC. Without their support this landmark case would have been too costly for us, as a district council, to pursue.” NMDC Chair and SMG Director  Sir Ian Blatchford said: “This ruling is excellent news for museum colleagues who have waited years for a definitive judgement on a long standing issue. Many of the museum valuation cases that are currently paused in anticipation of this result will hopefully now progress to sensible conclusions. Too much time and energy has been wasted already. We applaud our colleagues in Exeter their efforts and endurance to reach such a significant outcome for the sector.” RAMM, Museums Journal