Mandatory relief from business rates is for charities and registered community amateur sports clubs. Discretionary relief is for charitable and voluntary organisations.

Who qualifies for mandatory relief?

Mandatory relief from rates is for charities and registered community amateur sports clubs. The relief is set at 80% of the bill

80% rate relief

Occupiers of the following qualify for mandatory rate relief:

  • A non-domestic premises used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes. The premises could be occupied by:
    • a charity or the trustees of a charity
    • an organisation not registered as a charity but has charitable objectives. You must provide a copy of the Articles of Association or the constitution of the organisation for us to inspect.
  • Charity shops where the use of the premises is wholly or mainly for the sale of goods donated to the charity. The proceeds of the sale (minus expenses) are for the purposes of the charity.
  • A registered community amateur sports clubs.

You cannot make a Small Business Rate Relief claim if a property receives mandatory relief.

The council has a discretionary power to grant up to 100% relief from rates for those entitled to mandatory relief.

Who qualifies for discretionary relief?

Discretionary relief from rates is for charitable and voluntary organisations and can be granted for up to 100% of the bill

100% rate relief

This is for non-domestic premises occupied by:

  • non-profit-making organisations whose main objectives are for:
    • charity,
    • philanthropy,
    • religion,
    • education
    • social welfare,
    • science,
    • literature,
    • fine arts.
  • non-profit-making organisations occupying premises wholly or mainly for the purposes of recreation.
  • organisations entitled to mandatory 80% relief as set out above.

We process each application for discretionary relief on an individual basis.

Criteria for discretionary relief

The Council's Cabinet Resources Panel will consider the criteria below. We expect an organisation follow these either in whole or in part.

Eligibility criteria

organisations should have an open membership policy

  • facilities should be for disadvantaged groups
  • facilities should be available to non-members
  • the organisation provides training for its members particularly the young
  • facilities should be financed by themselves or by grants from bodies other than the council
  • facilities provided should be complementary to those provided by the council. They should relieve the council of the need to provide such facilities
  • the facilities should benefit people who live in the city
  • We will grant rate relief to organisations receiving direct grant aid but we will reduce the rate of grant aid. We will not grant relief where government funding is available to meet the liability.

Criteria for discretionary relief for sports clubs

  • More than 50% of the membership should be active playing members
  • The club doesn't charge an admission fee
  • We will give sympathetic consideration to
  • Applications from organisations involved in minority sports
  • To organisations participating in local/national events publicising the city of Wolverhampton. Organisations must be affiliated with local or national organisations.
  • Generally, clubs with bar facilities will not receive more than 50% relief. There may be exceptional circumstances.
Organisation who are not eligible

We won't grant relief:

  • to national charitable organisations
  • to sports and social clubs of industrial firms or other business organisations
  • where the organisation can financially support itself without help from the council

Empty properties

If a charity is paying business rates on a property that had become empty, we can grant an exemption so no rates are payable. This is providing that the next use of the premises will be wholly or mainly for charitable purposes.

Start date and duration of the rate relief

To receive relief for the previous financial year we need to:

  • receive your application by 31st August
  • approve your application by 30th September

If these dates are missed, we can only grant relief from 1st April of that financial year.

Once granted the relief is ongoing. We will issue a review form every year.

You will get confirmation in writing that the relief will end with at least 12 months notice, if:

  • you don't return the annual review form
  • you confirm you are no longer entitled to the relief

Relief will stop on 31st March of the following financial year.

Claim rate relief

To claim rate relief please complete our relief application form. The documents needed to assess your claim can be uploaded with your application.

You should make an application even if the Valuation Office Agency has not assessed and decided upon a rateable value for the premises. 

Apply for Relief