About Business Rates reliefs

Some ratepayers can get discounts on their Business Rates. These discounts are called Business Rates relief. There are a number of different types of reliefs. The types of discounts available can change from year to year. 

If you apply for rates relief, you must keep paying the amount shown on your original Business Rates bill until we confirm any reduction by sending you a revised bill.

Some types of reliefs are mandatory, some are discretionary, and some have both a mandatory and a discretionary element. The cost of reliefs is shared between central government and the local council. 

Types of Business Rates relief

The following types of relief are available:

Spring Budget reliefs 2017-18

Small business rate relief

Empty property rates and relief 

Enterprise Zone discounts - Cheshire Science Corridor

Registered charities rate relief

Not-for-profit organisations rate relief

Rural rate relief

Part-occupied property rate relief

Hardship rate relief

Local discretionary rate relief

Transitional relief (following a general rates revaluation)

New build rate relief is no longer available. This was a temporary scheme. 

Central government has also announced the following new reliefs:

Local newspapers - from 1 April 2017: There will be a new £1,500 discount for office space occupied by local newspapers. Each title can only get one discount. State aid rules apply.

Public toilets - from 1 April 2018: Local Authorities will be able to give discretionary Business Rates discounts for public toilets.

Mandatory reliefs

Some reliefs are classed as mandatory. Mandatory reliefs are guaranteed for anyone who applies and meets the conditions. Small business rate relief works like a mandatory relief, though for technical reasons it isn't classed as one.

Discretionary reliefs

The law allows us to give discretionary reliefs in some circumstances. Discretionary reliefs aren't guaranteed. We can choose whether to give a discount, and how much to give, up to the maximum amount we have set for each type of relief. 

It's important that we spend public money wisely, so we ask detailed questions when organisations apply for discretionary relief. We then make our decision based on the organisation's particular circumstances and how it contributes to the community.  

Rate relief and State Aid rules 

Mandatory rate relief doesn't count as state aid, but discretionary rate relief usually does. If you apply for any discretionary reliefs and you've received any other state aid (including EU aid) this year or in the last two years, you must tell us. You're allowed up to €200,000 in state aid over a rolling three year period. If you take more, you'll need to pay it back with interest.