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Here’s how much in business rates Banksy was charged to open a shop in Croydon

Here’s how much in business rates Banksy was charged to open a shop in Croydon
Dec 09, 2019 Shaking Hands 0 comments

This post was first published by My London on 29/11/2019.

It’s not as much as you probably think…

The arrival of Banksy’s pop-up art gallery in Croydon created a huge buzz.

Thousands flocked to see the shop – called Gross Domestic Product – after it appeared on the corner of Church Street and Frith Road , in the town centre, on October 1.

Several incredible pieces of art, including a Banksy Clock, Banksy Vest and Banksy Ultra HD TV, could be viewed from the shop’s window, with people often queuing to see it for themselves.

It was so busy the artist had to employ security guards to stand outside before the shop was dismantled on October 14.

The secret security guards looking after Banksy’s shop (Image: Grahame Larter)

It’s now been more than six weeks since Banksy left Croydon and the shop used to house the temporary art gallery remains vacant.

An FOI request made by MyLondon to Croydon Council has revealed the artist wasn’t charged a penny in business rates to use the unit.

“The property in question was 16-20 Church Street, Croydon, CR0 1RZ,” the response read.

“This property has been empty from May 2017, the registered liable party for business rates is Newhill Ltd.

“Four ingredients of rateable occupation were not present when the Banksy showcase was displayed in the shop window, and therefore Banksy is not liable to pay business rates.”

Although the doors will never actually open, the lights will not be turned off - making it a 24/7 window shopping experience
Some of the artwork inside the shop (Image: Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

According to National and Local Taxation , to be charged business rates the occupation must be; actual, exclusive, beneficial and permanent.

This wasn’t deemed to be the case when Banksy set up the art gallery in Croydon, hence why the artist wasn’t charged. The shop likely didn’t satisfy the final category – since it was only there on a temporary basis.

Banksy could have been charged rent by Newhill Ltd, though whether that was the case or how much he was charged is not clear.

At the time Banksy claimed the shop was opened because of a legal wrangle with a greetings card company which is apparently trying to seize legal custody of his trademark to sell merchandise.

Prices for the goods that were on sale ranged from £10 for a Banksy mug to £850 for a stab vest.

All of the artwork has now been sold, with people from more than 200 countries attempting to but it.

Visit the Gross Domestic Product website here.

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