A battle over business rates has been won by landlords of the former Trading 4U building in Uckfield.
Bernard Smith, director and head of professional services at chartered surveyors Oldfield Smith & Co, said they heard yesterday that their client had secured a reduction in rateable value on the premises from £179,000 a year to £128,000 which translates into a cash saving of about £25,000 a year.
The reduction will be backdated to April 1, 2010, and will cover five years.
Mr Smith who took the case to a Valuation Tribunal said he had been confident of a good outcome and was pleased that the case he argued won the day.
“I am particularly pleased because an appeal had been lodged previously, but withdrawn, by other consultants on behalf of Trading 4U before the business closed.
“Going to a tribunal is a costly and time-consuming process and not everybody is prepared to see it through. I’m pleased that we were trusted to take the case forward and that we were successful in securing this substantial reduction.”
Mr Smith added that a sizeable rebate would now be due to the liquidators of Trading 4U which could be used to pay off some of the creditors who were owed money when the business collapsed.
Mounting the appeal was one of the first tasks of Oldfield Smith & Co when the business was founded just over a year ago.
They began marketing the empty property at the same time and are hoping to be able to announce shortly that a national retailer will be taking over the premises.
Mr Smith said: “There has been a lot of interest in the building and our preferred bidder is now taking a recommendation to board level. If successful we hope to announce news which I am sure will be well-received by Uckfield people.”