Time Limit

The following reliefs are all administered under the local powers discount contained in Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988. For relief to be granted, the Council must make a decision within 6 months of the end of the financial year to which the award relates.

State Aid

Where State Aid limits apply the Local Authority is required to ensure that each business has not exceeded its State Aid threshold. For more information about State Aid please go to www.gov.uk/state-aid.

Retail Discount

In the Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a business rates Retail Discount scheme for eligible occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in each of the years 2019/20 and 2020/21, subject to State Aid limits. The value of discount being one-third of the bill This was to provide support to retail premises that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments. The Qualifying Criteria is available in the downloads section

In a Written Ministerial Statement on 27 January 2020, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury announced this relief was to increase to 50% of the bill for the 2020/21 financial year. It was also extended to include cinemas and live music venues. This was superseded by the Expanded Retail Discount – please see details below.

To apply for Retail Discount for 2019/20 please see the claim form in the download section, along with the Retail Discount 2019 Policy. Or contact the Revenues and Benefits Service.

Expanded Retail Discount

In response to the Coronavirus emergency, COVID19, the Government announced further changes in the Spring Statement 11th March 2020, 23rd March 2020 and 25th March 2020 confirming that the discount would be increased to 100% of the bill for financial year 2020/21. Also expanding the scheme to the leisure and hospitality sectors and removing the rateable value limit. 

Following discussions with the European Commission the Government’s assessment is that, given the impact of Covid-19 in the sectors receiving the relief, the business rates expanded retail, leisure and hospitality discount 2020-21 is not a State Aid.

This relief will cease at the end of the 2020/2021 financial year.

If you occupy more than one property, you may be entitled to relief for each eligible property.

Please see full details of the qualifying criteria in the Downloads section.

If you feel that you are eligible for this relief and it has not been awarded please contact the Revenues and Benefits Service.

Nurseries Discount

In response to the Coronavirus emergency, COVID19, on 18 March 2020 the Government announced it is providing a discount of 100% of the net bill for nurseries on Ofsted’s Early Years Register for the financial year 2020/21 providing it is used wholly or mainly for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage.

Following discussions with the European Commission the Government’s assessment is that, given the impact of Covid-19 in the sector receiving the relief that the nursery discount 2020/21 is not a State Aid.

Please note that this relief will cease at the end of the 2020/21 financial year.

Eligibility criteria

  • The property must be occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register; and
  • Used wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early years Foundation Stage.

If you feel that you are eligible for this relief and it has not been awarded please  contact the Revenues and Benefits Service.

Pub Discount 2020/21

Following a number of further announcements by the Government in response to the Coronavirus emergency, COVID19, all properties (Pubs) meeting the eligibility criteria detailed underneath now instead qualify for 100% Expanded Retail Discount of their net 2020/21 bill.  

In a Written Ministerial Statement on 27 January 2020, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury announced a business rate discount of up to £1,000 for occupied public houses with a rateable value of less than £100,000 for one year from 1 April 2020. In the Spring Statement 11th March 2020, the Government announced an increase in this discount of up to £5,000. 

Where pubs are part of a chain, relief will be available for each eligible property in the chain, subject to State Aid limits. To qualify for this relief, your business should not receive more than €200,000 of State Aid, under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013, over a rolling 3-year period (being the current and prior two financial years).

Details of the qualifying criteria are shown within Qualifying Criteria – Pub Discount Scheme (see the Downloads section)

Local Newspaper Relief

From 1 April 2017, the Government is providing funding to local authorities so that they can provide a discount worth £1,500 per year in 2017/18 and 2018/19 for office space occupied by local newspapers. In the 2018 Autumn Budget, the business rates discount of £1500 was extended to 2019/20. In a Written Ministerial Statement on 27 January 2020, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury announced that this has now been extended until the 2024/25 financial year.

Any award is subject to State Aid limits. To qualify for this relief, your business should not receive more than €200,000 of State Aid, under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013, over a rolling 3-year period (being the current and prior two financial years).

There is no application form. To apply, please write to the Revenues and Benefits Service giving full details of why your business should be considered for this local discount and provide all information you think is relevant to support your application, including your contact details.

For further details and a list of the eligibility criteria please see the Discretionary Relief 2019 - Local Newspapers in the download section.

Supporting Small Businesses

In the Spring Budget 2017, the Government introduced a relief to support small businesses who had lost some or all of their small business rates relief due to a change in their rateable value, due to the 2017 revaluation, and are now facing a large increase in their bill. This relief will ensure that increases are capped over the 5 years of the current transitional relief scheme, or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme

Please note that this relief will cease at the end of the 2021/2022 financial year.

Eligibility criteria

  • Entitlement to Small Business Rate Relief has been lost wholly or in part as a result of the 2017 Revaluation.
  • The property is occupied.

Subject to State Aid limits. To qualify for this relief, your business should not receive more than €200,000 of State Aid, under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013, over a rolling 3-year period (being the current and prior two financial years).

Exclusions

  • The property is unoccupied.
  • The property is occupied by a charity or a Community Amateur Sports Club.

For further information, please contact Revenues and Benefits Service.

Further details are contained in the Supporting Small Businesses Policy.

Revaluation Support

At the Spring Budget 2017, the Government announced the establishment of a £300m discretionary fund over four years from 2017/18 to 2020/21 to support businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. Every billing authority in England will be provided with a share of this fund.

The council has now agreed schemes which operate for the financial years 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21. Relief will cease on 31 March 2021.

  • For the 2017/18 financial year, relief will be awarded to cover the full amount of the increase, so that the ratepayer will see no increase in their 2017/18 bill in comparison to their 2016/17 bill, as result of the 2017 revaluation.
  • For the 2018/19 financial year, relief will be awarded to cover 70% of the increase resulting from the comparison of the ratepayer’s 2017/18 bill to their 2016/17 bill as a result of the 2017 revaluation.
  • For the 2019/20 financial year, relief will be awarded to cover 40% of the increase resulting from the comparison of the ratepayer’s 2017/18 bill to their 2016/17 bill as result of the 2017 revaluation.
  • For the 2020/21 financial year relief will be awarded to cover 40% of the increase resulting from the comparison of the ratepayer’s 2017/18 bill to their 2016/17 bill as result of the 2017 revaluation. However, this is only for properties with a rateable value of £15000 or below.

For further information, please contact the Revenues and Benefits Service.

For further details including the list of the eligibility criteria and exclusions please see the Revaluation Support Policy 2019 in the download section.

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