Decision details

Setting up a Trading Company - LMG Exhibitions Ltd - to support the delivery of Leeds Museums & Galleries' new five-year Strategy

Reference: D55619

Decision Maker: Director of City Development

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To gain approval for setting up a trading company which will allow Leeds Museums & Galleries to claim Museums & Galleries Exhibitions Tax Relief (MGETR). This tax relief was set up by the Government in April 2017 and is designed to support organisations to create and tour public facing exhibitions by helping them to recover some of their production costs. This relief is only claimable by ‘qualifying companies’ who are either a charitable company or a company wholly owned by a charity or a local authority. In order to qualify, Leeds Museums & Galleries needs to set up a trading company which we intend naming LMG Exhibitions Ltd. Once established, LMG can begin reclaiming so it is important to do this as soon as possible since retrospective claims are not valid. The claim would be made following completion of the financial year end, meaning our first claim will be made mid-2023, for the year ended 31st March 2023. Given that the relief is to encourage innovation and change and to improve the visitor experience, 10% of the claim after costs will be retained by Leeds Museums & Galleries for reinvestment in the following financial year.


The Chief Officer, Culture & Economy, has approved:

  Set-up a trading company, LMG Exhibitions Ltd, with immediate effect (before 30th September 2022) to allow for a minimum six-month accounting period in the first year, should the council decide to reclaim tax relief for 2022/23.


  Begin claiming tax relief from the end of this financial year (2022-23), and thereafter on any viable claims. These will be considered as part of LCC’s overall tax forecasts and strategy so that the Council does not exceed the 5% VAT exemption. Key stakeholders from Finance will be engaged as part of the claims process.


  Appoint company directors.


  Consider other ways of utilising the trading company to deliver trading activities, particularly retail, catering and events.


  Return the proceeds to the local authority (minus the costs of each claim), reinvesting 25% in new exhibitions through Leeds Museums and Galleries.

Reason Key: Financial Impact>£500K;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

If the decision has not been published in the List of Forthcoming Key Decisions for at least 28 clear days, the reason why it would be impracticable to delay the decision:: This has been published on the list of forthcoming key decisions for the required 28 clear days. However, the decision is to be taken at short notice and not wait for the 5 clear working days prior to decision being taken due to the reason below. It is eligible for call-in. External advisors RSM have confirmed that in order to claim Museums and Galleries Exhibitions Tax Relief the accounting period for the proposed trading company ‘LMG Exhibitions Ltd’ can be no less than 6 months. Incorporating the new legal entity as at 30th September will allow the exhibition company to have a year-end date aligned with Leeds City Council, 31st March. This would make recharges between LCC and the company easier since they could be absorbed into existing year end processes within the finance team. Claims cannot be backdated prior to the creation of the exhibition company. This advice was received at the beginning of September allowing limited time to complete the report meaning that the report a

Other reasons / organisations consulted

Consulted with colleagues in Finance and Legal since March 2022, as well as colleagues in other local authorities and charitable trusts who have successfully claimed MGETR.


Executive Member for Economy, Culture and Education



Contact: David Hopes, Head of Museums and Galleries 0113 378 4047 Email:

Publication date: 20/09/2022

Date of decision: 20/09/2022

Effective from: 28/09/2022

Accompanying Documents: