What are Rates Rebates?

Currently Bristol Hackspace, and indeed the whole of BV Studios, gets 100% rates rebates from Bristol City Council (that is, we don't have to pay any rates on the property). The council are looking to change this in 2013. They are sending out an “Impact Survey” to see how this will affect different groups. This is the response from Bristol Hackspace, which gets incorporated into the survey which is returned to the council by BV Studios.

Survey Response

Bristol Hackspace is a social enterprise which aims to open up technology to anybody who takes an interest in it.

We want to ‘open’ technology both in the sense of taking things apart to learn how they work, and how to mend or adapt them; and in the sense of sharing the knowledge we gain from doing so. We are committed to the principles of Open Source and Open Knowledge.

Bristol Hackspace gives people the confidence to use technology for themselves in many areas including art, business and for the sheer joy of building things.

We put on events that show what we do; encourage people to get involved and teach people how to build a variety of projects for themselves: Weekly Thursday open meeting - around 20 people drop in each week to build, share knowledge, chat or just to find out what we do.

  • Electronics Micro-controller Workshop 30-31 July 2011 - 11 participants.
  • Electronics Micro-controller Workshop 10-11 March 2012 - 12 participants.
  • Hackspace Exhibition 15-18 September 2011 - 200 visitors.
  • BV Open Studio Exhibition 15-16 October 2011 - 1200 visitors.

Our income comes mainly from members' subscriptions and workshop payments (we had 23 paid up members and an income of slightly over £3000 for the period 1/1/2011-31/12/2011). Recently we have been attracting more external funding for running projects (like the upcoming Air Quality Monitoring workshop and the Field Studies Hackday).

Bristol Hackspace is run on a very small budget, entirely through voluntary efforts. Having to pay rates would severely affect what we are able to do and may even require us to dissolve the group. We could look at becoming a registered charity in order to get discretionary rate relief but this isn't the easiest route when everything within the organisation is done by volunteers.

We have links with other groups and Hackspaces:

  • Brighton Hacker Space
  • Cairo Hackerspace
  • Cardiff Hackspace
  • Field Studies Council, Slapton, Devon
  • Noisebridge, San Francisco
  • Nottingham Hackspace
  • Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol

Related Links

  • botlab/rates_rebate
  • Last modified: 5 years ago
  • by dwyatt