UK Business rates for co-working spaces

My small business VtialSix ltd is setting up a 65 work station, 3,600 sq ft coworking space on Thames Valley Science Park in Reading UK. This is a new venture in partnership with the University of Reading.

We have been told that the space will be liable for business rates. At present as a small business we get 100% rate relief. The co working space we are setting up will be filled with other small businesses who will also get 100% rate relief.

However because we are leasing 3,600 sq ft we are now no longer considered as a small business and therefore are expected to pay the full business rates of circa £40k from the outset.

Has anybody else setting up co-working in the UK managed to get any rate relief during the set up/establishment phase? I woul dbe interetd to hear any war stories regarding business rates.


Ed Cooper