Discretionary rate relief for business investment in targeted growth sectors
The target sectors are:
- professional services
- media/digital activities
- scientific activities (particularly agri-science)
- low carbon
Existing businesses in targeted growth sectors that are looking to establish or develop new operations in the district could apply for additional discretionary relief. Applications will be considered individually.
- the inward investment must create at least 10 new jobs in the district, with relief offered at one per cent for every new job, up to a maximum of 50 per cent of one year's liability
- applicants will have to prove they're creating jobs and have a long lease/freehold, to confirm their commitment to remain in the district
- the organisation must agree to repay any relief granted if the business relocates within five years of discretionary relief being awarded
- successful applicants can choose to either receive relief within one year or spread relief over the first three years of investment/relocation
Discretionary rate relief for increasing the supply of high-quality office space
Discretionary relief may be awarded for investment in existing office units or for the creation of new, high-quality office space.
The applicant must demonstrate the investment to develop the property and the improvements that will be/have been undertaken.
The factors that will be considered to make an award are:
- the development must involve B1 (a and b) use class (offices, research and development) over 2,000 square feet
- existing levels of relief
- level of private investment
- rateable value
- location - with a preference for town centre locations
- layout - with a preference for open plan
- digital infrastructure
- energy efficiency
- existing/resulting rent levels
Discretionary rate relief for the reoccupation of empty listed buildings
Discretionary relief may be awarded for listed buildings that have been reoccupied after being renovated to bring them back into commercial use.
The applicant must demonstrate that renovation work was or is required to bring the premises back into commercial use, and that any required listed building consent has been obtained. Relief will only apply after the property is occupied, the property will remain exempt from rates during the period of the works.
Where the criteria are met, the following relief can be awarded
Year after listed property is brought back into use
Year 1 maximum % of relief is 80%
Year 2 maximum % of relief is 50%
Year 3 maximum % of relief is 20%
Rural rate relief
Certain rural businesses in a specified rural settlement are entitled to 100% rate relief if they are:
- a food shop with a rateable value of £8,500 or less
- the only general store, or post office in the settlement, and have a rateable value of £8,500 or less
- the only petrol filling station or pub in the settlement, and have a rateable value of £12,500 or less
The property must be occupied.
We also have the discretion to allow relief for other rural businesses if the rateable value is £16,500 or less and the property is used for a purpose which benefits the local community.
Charitable and discretionary rate relief
Charities are entitled to 80% mandatory rate relief if the property is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes.
Community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) registered with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs are also entitled to mandatory relief.
The council's rate relief policy allows charities and CASCs to apply for additional discretionary relief, with applications considered on an individual basis. This policy also allows relief to be awarded to businesses and non-profit organisations providing community value to district residents.
To apply for discretionary rate relief and mandatory relief for charities and community amateur sports club, fill in the application form.
We have the discretion to allow hardship relief to ratepayers who are having problems paying their business rates.
Relief can only be granted if:
- the ratepayer would suffer hardship if we didn't do so, and,
- it's reasonable for us to do so, with regard to the interests of our council taxpayers
The hardship being suffered must be as a result of the rates charges for which you're liable. Relief can't be allowed if hardship is being caused by other factors.
Reduction for partly-occupied property
The council has discretion to award relief when part of a property is temporarily unoccupied. This can only be done when the unoccupied area is clearly defined and reasonably segregated from the occupied part.
Applications for this relief are assessed in accordance with the council's rate relief policy. Relief will only be awarded if the normal charge is having a clear detrimental impact on the business. There must be a clear benefit to local taxpayers in making the award that outweighs any detrimental impact, including the financial impact on the council.
Successful applications are likely to be those where part occupation is necessary to facilitate the relocation of the company, or where there has been a temporary downturn in trade, or a fire, flood or other natural disaster that temporarily prevents full use of the premises. Any period of more than twelve months will not be considered temporary.
This relief is not intended to provide assistance if the unoccupied area is usually sublet, or if the part occupation is seasonal.
As part of any application, a plan must be submitted showing the occupied and unoccupied areas. We must also be allowed access to the property by appointment to verify the details provided. If an application is successful, further access will also be necessary to ensure the area remains unoccupied. Retrospective applications will not usually be considered as we will not be able to inspect the property.
The relief for pubs announced by the government, of up to £1000 for 2017/18 for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000, has been awarded to those businesses believed to qualify. Revised business rates bills have been issued.
If you believe the relief should have been awarded to your property but haven't received confirmation that it has been allowed, please contact us using the enquiries form below.
Please note that State Aid limits apply to the granting of relief.
Page last updated 06/11/2017