Reliefs and Relief Schemes

New Business Rate Relief Scheme for Pubs

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Who qualifies?

You may qualify if you pay non-domestic rates on your Public House that:

  • is open to the general public
  • allows free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
  • allows drinking without requiring food to be consumed
  • allows drinks to be purchased at a bar, and
  • has a rateable value below £100,000

Who doesn't qualify?

The relief excludes:

  • restaurants
  • cafés
  • nightclubs
  • hotels
  • snack bars
  • guest-houses
  • boarding houses
  • sporting venues
  • music venues
  • festival sites
  • theatres
  • museums
  • exhibition halls
  • cinemas
  • concert halls
  • casinos

You won't qualify if the award of relief would exceed State Aid limits. For more information about State Aid, please visit the GOV.UK site.

How to apply

Application forms have been sent out for these reliefs if we think you qualify.

If you haven't received a form but think you qualify please download an application form and return it to us.

Supporting Small Businesses Relief

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The Supporting Small Businesses relief will help those ratepayers who as a result of the change in their rateable value at the revaluation are losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief and, as a result, are facing large increases in their bills.

To support these ratepayers, the Supporting Small Businesses relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

  • a percentage increase p.a. of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% 2017/18 to 2021/22 all plus inflation after small business rate relief or rural rate relief has been applied, or
  • a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month).

In the first year of the scheme, this means all ratepayers losing some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief will see the increase in their bill capped at £600. The cash minimum increase is £600 per year thereafter. This means that ratepayers who are currently paying nothing under small business rate relief and are losing all of their entitlement to relief (i.e. moving from £6,000 rateable value or less to more than £15,000) would under this scheme be paying £3,000 in year 5.

Those on the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme whose 2017 rateable values are £51,000 or more will not be liable to pay the supplement (1.3p) to fund small business rate relief while they are eligible for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme.

Ratepayers remain in the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme for either 5 years or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme. A change of ratepayers will not affect eligibility for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme but eligibility will be lost if the property falls vacant or becomes occupied by a charity or Community Amateur Sports Club.

There is no 2nd property test for eligibility for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme. However, those ratepayers who during 2016/17 lost entitlement to small business rate relief because they failed the 2nd property test but have, under the rules for small business rate relief, been given a 12 month period of grace before their relief ended can continue on the scheme for the remainder of their 12 month period of grace.

The calculation of Supporting Small Businesses relief will be in line with Department for Communities and Local Government guidance at section 2.   

Discretionary Revaluation Relief Scheme

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If your business rates have increased as a result of the 2017 revaluation, you may be eligible for revaluation relief

The relief scheme

In March 2017 the government announced funding for councils to design their own relief scheme. The scheme is for ratepayers facing the steepest increases in their business rates bills, as a result of the 2017 revaluation.

Who qualifies?

You may qualify if:

  • The rateable value for 2017-18 is less than £200,000
  • The rateable value increased by more than 12.5% in the 2017 revaluation
  • After all other reliefs have been applied the increased billing amount is more than 12.5% in 2017-18
  • The rate payer must have been in occupation continually since pre 1 April 2017
  • The rate payer must have employees based in the hereditament on which relief is being sought

Who doesn't qualify

The relief excludes:

  • Ratepayers operating an intermittent occupation tax mitigation/avoidance scheme
  • Ratepayers with an outstanding valuation appeal
  • National companies, national charities and public bodies
  • Hereditament wholly or mainly being used as a betting shop, payday loan shop, pawnbrokers or shisha bars     

How to apply

Application forms have been sent out for these reliefs if we think you qualify.

If you haven't received a form but think you qualify please download an application form and return it to us.

Retail Discount

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At Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a one-third discount for eligible retail businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000, up to state aid limits. This scheme will run for two years from April 2019. This discount will be applied to the bill after the application of any reliefs, excluding any local discounts.

Read the Government issued guidance on the operation of the scheme

State Aid De Minimis limits

Awards such as Retail Discount are required to comply

Who qualifies?

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments (a property, or part of a property, which is assessed for rates) with a rateable value of less than £51,000, that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments.

We consider shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments to mean:

(a) Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:

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

 (b) Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Hair and beauty services (such as: hair dressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)
  • Shoe repairs/ key cutting

  • Travel agents

  • Ticket offices e.g. for theatre

  • Dry cleaners

  • Launderettes

  • PC/ TV/ domestic appliance repair

  • Funeral directors

  • Photo processing

  • Tool hire

  • Car hire

(c) Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of food and/ or drink to visiting members of the public:

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

Who doesn't qualify

The list below sets out the types of uses that the Government does not consider to be retail use for the purpose of this relief:

(a) Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)

  • Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)

  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)

  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors)

  • Post office sorting offices

(b) Hereditaments that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

How to apply?

To apply for Retail Discount, please complete the Retail relief application form. Once your application is received, we will write to you to confirm the exact amount of relief we are awarding.