Business Rates reductions and relief

Expanded Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rate Relief

The Expanded Retails Relief Scheme applies to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020-21. There is no rateable value limit on the relief. We will automatically award relief if we consider the property meets the eligibility criteria.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
  • for assembly and leisure; or
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties.

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.

How much relief will I get?

From 1 April 2020 to 2021 the value of relief should be 100% of the bill and must be applied after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs funded by section 31 grants have been applied.

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

  • Shops (such as: florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, 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)

Hereditaments 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 eg for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/ TV/ domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire
  • Employment agencies
  • Estate agents and letting agents
  • Betting shops

Hereditaments 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
  • Bars

Hereditaments which are being used as cinemas

Hereditaments that are being used as live music venues:

  • Live music venues are hereditaments wholly or mainly used for the performance of live music for the purpose of entertaining an audience. Hereditaments cannot be considered a live music venue for the purpose of business rates relief where a venue is wholly or mainly used as a nightclub or a theatre, for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).
  • Hereditaments can be a live music venue even if used for other activities, but only if those other activities are merely ancillary or incidental to the performance of live music (eg the sale/supply of alcohol to audience members) or do not affect the fact that the primary activity for the premises is the performance of live music (eg because those other activities are insufficiently regular or frequent, such as a polling station or a fortnightly community event).
  • There may be circumstances in which it is difficult to tell whether an activity is a performance of live music or, instead, the playing of recorded music. Although we would expect this would be clear in most circumstances, guidance on this may be found in Chapter 16 of the statutory guidance issued in April 2018 under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.

Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public (including for the viewing of such activities).

  • Sports grounds and clubs
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Nightclubs
  • Sport and leisure facilities
  • Stately homes and historic houses
  • Theatres
  • Tourist attractions
  • Gyms
  • Wellness centres, spas, massage parlours
  • Casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls

Hereditaments that are being used for the assembly of visiting members of the public.

  • Public halls
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions.

Properties not eligible for relief

Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public

  • Financial services (eg banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Medical services (eg vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (eg solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors)
  • Post office sorting offices

Hereditaments that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public