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Rate relief

Businesses rates and changes in the March 11 Budget

The government announced a range of discounts for retailers and hospitality and leisure businesses including pubs for one year as a result of the potential impact of the Coronavirus. The latest information is available on GOV.UK.

Businesses are being advised that the business rates bills they are receiving this week will not show the changes announced in the budget as they have not been ratified by Parliament yet. All businesses should continue with their current payment schedule until they receive an amended bill.

Rate relief is not granted automatically. It is the responsibility of eligible businesses to apply for rate relief. Please ensure that you make an application if you think you are eligible.

New Pub Discount 2020 to 2021

The Government has announced a new relief scheme for pubs that have a rateable value less than £100,000. Under the scheme eligible ratepayers will receive up to £1,000 discount on their daily chargeable amount. This will be applied in addition to the retail discount, for those who qualify for both reliefs.

This discount is subject to State Aid rules, The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 of De Minimis aid in a three-year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years).

Retail Discount increase for 2020 to 2021

Retail Discount is available for retail premises that have a rateable value less than £51,000. Under the scheme eligible ratepayers will receive a 50% discount on their daily chargeable amount in 2020 to 21.

We have identified the businesses we believe will be eligible for this discount and it will be shown on their bills. If the discount is not showing on your bill, but you believe you are eligible, please contact us.

This discount is subject to State Aid rules, for more information read the government guidance on retail discount

Extra Help with Rates in 2019

The rateable values of all non-domestic properties were reassessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA); the new values came into effect from 1 April 2017. 

The Government has funded reliefs to help reduce the impact of business rate increases following the revaluation.  

  • Supporting small businesses
  • New discretionary relief scheme

Supporting small businesses

This scheme supports small businesses which, as a result of the revaluation, lost some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief and as a result are facing an increase in their bill of over £600.00 per year.

Discretionary Funding to assist businesses

A discretionary funding pot of £300 million has been made available nationally. It is payable over 4 years to enable billing authorities to support those facing the steepest increases in their Business Rates.  The Council’s scheme has been designed to help businesses with a rateable value of less than £200,000 who are facing an increase of over £600.00 this year.  The ratepayer must have been in occupation on 31st March 2017.

State Aid

The award of these reliefs must comply with EU law on State Aid.  The application form requires you to confirm that you have not received any other State Aid that exceeds in total €200,000, under the De Minimus Regulations EC 1407/2013.  When considering the total amount of State Aid you have received, you should include any other Business Rates Relief you are being granted for premises other than the one which your application relates to.

Further information on State Aid law can be found at

Application forms to include a State Aid Declaration were issued in June to businesses we identified as possibly meeting the criteria.

However, we encourage all business to check their eligibility by calling our Business Rates team on 01285 623034.  

Small business rate relief

From 1 April 2017 businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of less than £50,000 will automatically have their rates calculated using the small business rate multiplier. Eligible businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of less than £15,000 can apply for small business rate relief to receive a further discount on their rates bill.  

Small business rate relief is only available on one property, to ratepayers who either:

  • occupy one property; or
  • one main property and other additional properties in England; providing those additional properties have rateable values less than £2,900 and the total rateable value of all the properties is under £20,000.

Small business rate relief is protected for up to 12 months for businesses that take on additional property with a rateable value over £2,900.

Calculation of small business rate relief 

From 1 April 2017:

  • eligible businesses in premises with a rateable value of up to £12,000 will be entitled to 100% relief on their rates bill.
  • for premises with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 the relief will decrease in percentage terms on a sliding scale, reducing to 0% at a rateable value of £15,000.
  • Businesses with rateable values under £15,000 must apply for small business rates relief in order to benefit. 

Rate relief for rural businesses

Certain types of business in rural settlements with a population below 3,000 may qualify for 100% rate relief.

To qualify the property must be occupied and be the only:

  • general store, post office or food shop with a rateable value of less than £8,500
  • public house or petrol filling station with a rateable value of less than £12,500.

In addition, the Council also has discretion to give up to 100% relief to any other business with a rateable value less than £16,500 in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000, if it is satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community and having regard to the interests of its council tax payers.

Charity and registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered community amateur sports club. The Council has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.

To register as a CASC please:

Discretionary relief

The Council has discretion to give relief on all or part of any rate bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making bodies. We can also consider giving rate relief in cases of hardship or where part of a property is unoccupied for a very short period.

Interaction with other reliefs

If your premises are eligible for charitable, rural and small business rate relief you will only receive the charitable or rural rate relief. 

To find out more or to apply for any of the rate relief above please: 

New Retail Rate Relief announced in the budget – October 2018