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Business rate relief

Are you entitled to lower business rates?

Expanded Retail Discount

Retail properties rate relief

Retail premises must be occupied and wholly or mainly used to sell goods, services or food and drink to visiting members of the public.

In response to Covid-19 the government have expanded the discount to properties within the Leisure and Hospitality sectors to include cinema's, live music venues, properties used for assembly and leisure and hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

As a guide, qualifying businesses may include:

Premises selling goods

  • Shops, for example, butchers, bakers, grocers, florists, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off-licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores
  • Furnishing shops or display rooms (for example, carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • Art galleries where art is for sale or hire
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Car or caravan showrooms
  • Second hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Garden centres
  • Post offices

Premises providing services

  • Hair and beauty services such as hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops
  • Shoe repairs or key cutting
  • PC, TV or domestic appliance repair
  • Ticket offices, for example for theatre
  • Dry-cleaners or Launderettes
  • Car hire
  • Funeral directors
  • Travel agents
  • Photo processing
  • DVD or video rentals
  • Tool hire
  • Cinemas
  • Music venues
  • Estate agents
  • Betting shops

Premises selling food or drink

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Sandwich shops
  • Takeaways
  • Pubs
  • Bars

Premises used for assembly and leisure

  • Sports grounds and clubs
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Nightclubs
  • Sport and leisure facilities
  • Stately homes and historic houses
  • Theatres
  • Tourist attractions
  • Gyms
  • Wellness centres, spas, massage parlours
  • Casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls
  • Public halls
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions

These lists are not exhaustive as it is impossible to list all the various retail uses that exist. We will consider retail rate relief for businesses that are broadly similar to those listed. As retail rate relief is discretionary, we may decide not to award it if doing so will be against our wider objectives for the local area.

Premises which do not benefit

Premises not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public, or those not wholly or mainly used for the qualifying purpose will not be eligible. This list sets out the types of uses the Government does not consider being retail use for this relief.

  • Financial services, for example banks, building societies, cashpoints, bureau de change, payday lenders
  • Professional services such as solicitors, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisers, tutors
  • Medical services such as vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors
  • Post office sorting office

If we decide premises are occupied by businesses broadly similar to those listed above, we will not award retail rate relief.

Available amount of relief 2020/21 and 2021/2022

For 2020/21 the expanded retail discount was 100% for eligible ratepayers.

In the budget on 3 March 2021, the chancellor announced that the discount would be extended at 100% to the first three months of the financial year followed by a 66% discount from 1 July 2021.

The 66% discount will be applied from 1 July 2021 until 31 March 2022 and is capped to businesses at £105,000 per business or £2million to any business which was required to close based on the guidance applicable on 5 January 2021.

The cap applies at group company level, so holding companies and subsidiaries cannot claim up to the cash cap for each company, any organisations which have an interest in a company, which if it were a company would be classed as a holding company are also included.

We are currently reviewing the guidance provided from the Budget and will be shortly issuing Demand notices confirming that the 100% relief will continue until the 30 June 2021. Along with these demands, a letter will be issued to all Businesses that are currently in receipt of the Expanded retail relief, outlining the changes. Businesses will be given the option to 'OPT' out of receiving the Expanded Retail Discount.

We will then make changes to show a 66% discount (if applicable) from 1 July 2021 and send you an amended bill.

Non Domestic Rates - Expanded Retail Discount

Icon for pdf Business Rates - Nursery Discount [90.74KB]

Icon for pdf Business Rates - Retail Discount [1.08MB]


Small Business Relief

The Government has specified fresh threshold rateable values for small business relief based on the new rateable values shown in the 2017 List from 1st April 2017. 

Ratepayers occupying only one property with rateable values up to 12,000 will receive 100% relief and have no rates at all to pay for the period, while ratepayers with rateable values between 12,000 and 15,000 will receive tapered relief from 100% - 0%. 

The threshold for the rateable value of individual second properties will increase from £2,599 to £2,899 and the threshold for the aggregate value of all second properties will increase from £17,999 to £19,999.

All ratepayers occupying premises with new 2017 rateable values below 51,000 will automatically benefit from the small business multiplier so you do not need to apply.

These provisions cannot apply where the ratepayer is a charity, or eligible for rural settlement relief or the premises are unoccupied. If the premises are unoccupied it may be the opportunity to bring empty premises back into use, without having to pay business rates.  For advice or to discuss the options, please contact the Council.

If you currently receive small business relief and it is shown on your 2018/19 demand notice, this will be updated automatically for 2019/20. If you have moved out or there have been any changes or alterations to the premises, or taken over additional premises anywhere in England, please contact the Council immediately.

If you have not previously claimed small business relief, but due to the new rateable value and threshold changes from April 2017 may now be eligible, please contact the Council for advice and to make your claim or complete the application form below.

Mandatory relief

All registered charities are entitled to 80% relief on non-domestic properties which are occupied by and used wholly for the benefit of a charity.

Community Amateur Sports Clubs

80% relief will be granted to any club which is registered as a CASC where the property is used wholly or mainly for the purpose of that club or any other such registered club.

Discretionary relief

The Council has discretion to grant up to 100% of any rate bill to organisations occupying property which are not established or conducted for profit. The objectives of such organisations must be charitable or are otherwise philanthropic, religious or concerned with education, social welfare, science literature or the fine arts. The Council also has discretion to grant an additional 20% to registered charities.  For 2019/20 local discretionary relief, please see related document "Help with Business Rates" at the foot of this page.

Retail Discount

The Autumn Budget 2018 announced discount of up to a third off net business rates payable for retail premises for 2019/20 and 2020/21. If this discount is not shown on your 2019/20 demand notice,  and you wish to apply for the discount or require further details, please contact the Revenues Team.

Rural Settlement Mandatory relief

In order to qualify for 50% relief the property must be the sole Post Office or General Store in a qualifying rural settlement which has a rateable value of £8,500 or below in the 2010 and 2017 Lists. 50% mandatory relief may also apply for sole public houses and petrol filling stations situated in a qualifying rural settlement and with a rateable value of £12,500 or below in the 2010 and 2017 Lists. 50% mandatory relief has been introduced for all food shops in a qualifying rural settlement and with a rateable value of £8,500 or below in the 2010 and 2017 Lists. However, the 2016 Autumn Statement advised that Rural Rate relief would be doubled from 50% to 100% from the 1st April 2017.

Rural Settlement Discretionary relief

The Council has discretion to grant up to 100% relief to businesses in a qualifying rural settlement which have a rateable value of £16,500 or below in the 2010 and 2017 Lists. The business must be able to demonstrate that it is of benefit to the local community and it is in the Council Taxpayers interest to grant relief.

Hardship relief

The Council has discretion to grant up to 100% relief to reduce the non domestic rate charge on the grounds of hardship. Each application for hardship must be able to demonstrate that:

  • The ratepayer would sustain hardship if the authority did not do so, and
  • It is reasonable for the authority to do so, having regard to the interest of persons subject to Council Taxes.
  • It is the business rates in particular that are causing the business hardship.

Each application must be in writing and accompanied by the latest set of audited accounts in order for the Council to determine each case on its own merits.

pdf Help with Business Rates [236.75KB] arrowSmall business relief form arrowCharity Rate Relief form arrowSports Club relief form