GCVS and the Third Sector Forum are continuing to meet with representatives of Glasgow City Council and City Property to discuss the issue of concessionary rents in commercial properties.  Following a meeting on Tuesday, 4th June, we can confirm that City Property’s current position is that the policy to move to full market rates for third sector organisations in commercial properties will remain in place.   We understand thatorganisations that would be in serious financial difficulty due to the introduction of full market rates may be able to receive assistance with rental costs or an extension of the stepped increase period (currently 4 years).   We are awaiting further details of these proposals.

GCVS, on behalf of our members, continue to oppose the policy.  The Council’s position will be discussed at the Third Sector Forum’s Executive Committee on Tuesday, 11th June.  We should be in a position to update members with further information on the Council’s plans over the coming week.

The policy states that “Where organisations sub-let or charge for services from that property e.g. a trading café, bar or restaurant then that income should be used to cover rental costs before redistribution for charitable activities..”  It is our understanding that this also remains City Property’s  position.

For the purposes of the Council’s policy on concessionary rents, commercial property is identified as commercial units such as shops, offices, industrial units or areas of ground which attract a commercial income.

All organisations renting from City Property and in commercial properties, as defined above, will go through a stepped annual rental increase towards full market rents when their lease renewal takes place. 

If your organisation rents commercial premises belonging to City Property we want to hear from you.  We would especially like to hear from organisations currently going through the rent review process with Ryden. We are aware that 68 organisations are, however, due to reasons of commercial confidentiality, City Property cannot provide us with their details.

Please contact Iona Macaulay on 332 2444 or email her at iona.macaulay@gcvs.og.uk .

Councillors voted to remove concessionary rents in commercial properties from third sector organisations in December 2010 at a meeting of the Executive Committee.  The paper submitted in advance of this vote can be accessed here