Business rates retail relief

Retail rate relief

General information 

In the Autumn Statement on 5th December 2013 Government announced that it will provide relief for the next two years to all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less. Relief of up to £1,500 for 2015/16 will be awarded for successful applications. Please note, this relief scheme ended on 31st March 2016 however applications can still made for the financial year 2015/16. Applications must be received by 30th September 2016.

Relief may be awarded where:

  • the rateable value is £50,000 or less
  • the property is occupied
  • the property is accessible by the general public
  • the property is wholly or mainly being used as a shop, restaurant, cafe or drinking establishment

Examples of types of use for retail relief purposes which are considered to mean shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments are:

properties that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public: 

  • shops (such as: florist, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers,jewellers, stationers, off licence, 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)

properties 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
  • laundrettes
  • PC/TV/ domestic appliance repair
  • funeral directors
  • photo processing
  • DVD/ video rentals
  • tool hire
  • car hire

properties 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 and bars

Examples of types of use not considered to be retail use for the purposes of the relief:-

properties 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, bureau 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 advisors, tutors)
  • post office sorting office

properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

The lists are not exhaustive.

Relief is discretionary therefore, in line with Government guidance; the Council has developed a policy for determining applications.

The awarding of discretionary relief will usually amount to State Aid. Retail Relief will be State Aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations (1407/2013) which allows a business to receive up to €200,000 euros, around £164,000, of De Minimis Aid in a three year period, consisting of the financial year and previous two financial years.

What is State Aid
Download (17KB)

A State Aid declaration must be completed before any award of relief can be considered. The declaration forms part of the overall application form which is attached to this page along with further information regarding State Aid.

In order to apply for this relief you should complete the application form. The application must be in writing and signed by the ratepayer or person duly authorised to sign on behalf of the ratepayer.  

Retail Relief Application Declaration Form
Download (13KB)

For further information, please contact us: 

Last updated: 11 April 2016 11:04:06