Peterborough: Bar Considers Rate Appeal

The owners of Bar 21 in Peterborough City Centre say they have put up all year with improvement work around Bridge Street and now Priestgate, and it's put customers off.

Karen Winner has told Heart she's considering asking Peterborough City Council for reductions in business rates for the loss of takings suffered whilst the improvement work in Priestgate has taken place.

The Co-Owner of The XXI Bar & Lounge in Priestgate, the city's oldest bar, told Heart: "Whilst I accept that the idea is to improve the appearance of Bridge Street it's us that has suffered as the walkway between Bridge Street and ourselves in Priestgate has been used as the contractors storage area whilst the work has been taking place.

When the contractors were working on Bridge Street itself we suffered as there was a noticeable reduction in people walking up the lower part of Priestgate but over the past two weeks the street has been reduced to just a makeshift walkway as the contractors resurface and our trade was dropped even further."

With the Bank Holiday weekend upon us, Karen fears even more for her trade: "This weekend starting from Thursday is always a busy weekend for us as people who go to the Beer Festival on the Embankment tend to come to us afterwards as we're the first venue as they walk back into town.

However, the contractors cannot give me a guarantee that the work will be completed this weekend.

When you look up Priestgate at the moment it resembles a building site and that theres no way of walking through up to our bar, it simply looks as if the road is closed and thus people will walk on into the top end of town".

A spokesman for Peterborough City Council said: "If a company believes it is entitled to a rebate on its business rates, it can appeal via the Valuation Office Agency. 

Peterborough City Council does not set business rates as these are set by the Valuations Office, which is part of HM Revenue & Customs."

The roadworks by Bridge Street are due to be completed within the next fortnight, a spokesman has told Heart.

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