Rates bill cut for Millennium Stadium
The Millennium Stadium has won an appeal to reduce its rateable value, giving the Cardiff venue a multimillion-pound financial boost.
The stadium, which is wholly owned by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), will save £3.5m from 2005 to 2017 as a result of the ruling.
WRU will use the additional capital to reinvest in rugby at all levels.
Stadium manager Mark Williams said: "The savings we have achieved through this exercise has helped us strengthen our investment into the game of rugby at all levels in Wales.
"We have a tremendously strong relationship with the capital city and we are committed to recognising our responsibility through fair and equitable contributions to the rating process."
Two assessments of the rateable value associated with the stadium were carried out in 2005 and 2010, saving £1.5m and £2m respectively. The latest assessment list runs from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2017.
Andrew West, director of rating at Cooke & Arkwright, represented Millennium Stadium.
He said: "There has been a change of approach to assessing RV (rateable value) for stadia in recent years.
"We therefore needed to establish a value based on what would represent an affordable rent if the Millennium Stadium was available to let, in relation to its actual trading history, and how you would generate income as a hypothetical stadium operator. A very detailed and complex analysis of accounts was conducted to establish the correct RV.
"Crucially, the agreed valuations reflect the ability of the hypothetical occupier to pay a rent, excluding the WRU’s income from staging rugby matches."
Williams said: "This readjustment of our outgoings gives us even more stability and confidence in our ability to ensure the Millennium Stadium flourishes as an icon of Welsh life."