Heathrow Airport which has the UK’s single largest rating assessment and is one of the most complex has appointed Gerald Eve as its business rates adviser.
The four-year contract was put out to tender in the Official Journal of the European Union. Gerald Eve were appointed through a competitive tendering process, which is understood to have included a number of rival firms.
Jerry Schurder Gerald Eve’s head of rating said: “This contract is a fantastic win for Gerald Eve. It is a great endorsement of our approach, which aims to acquire a deep understanding of our clients’ businesses and their operating infrastructure. We then tailor a bespoke offering in response.”
Gerald Eve rating partner Roger Littlewood, who was the former head of valuation and professional services at HBOS Group, will head up the project for Gerald Eve with a team based at Heathrow.
Littlewood said: “It would be difficult to overstate the importance of Heathrow to the UK’s economy, as one of the world’s largest and busiest transport hubs. But perhaps less appreciated is the huge contribution that the airport provides to the local authority and the Exchequer in terms of business rates. To put this in context, Heathrow’s single rateable value, is larger than the entire rateable value of all properties within 285 of the 350 billing authorities in England and Wales.”
The dimensions of Heathrow’s operations are awe inspiring. The operational site area extends to over 4,895 acres and this includes a floor area of 48.3m sq ft of existing buildings. There are 934 acres of runways, aprons, stands etc. 24,721 ft of tunnels (excluding rail and tube) and 24 miles of roads, within 19 miles of site fencing. Heathrow is also developing a brand new Terminal 2 at a cost of £2.2 billion – the largest privately funded construction project in the UK.
Stephen Wilkinson, the property director of Heathrow Airport Limited, said: “Gerald Eve has demonstrated a track record of dealing with rating issues associated with complex infrastructure. But what was particularly attractive to us was Gerald Eve’s personalised and exclusive service approach. Given the complexity and unique intricacies of our business, Gerald Eve’s proposed rapid embedding with us and its more collaborative approach with the Valuation Office Agency and the local authority was particularly refreshing.”