Apply for a Retail Discount

The Government announced in the Budget on 29 October 2018 that it would provide a Business Rates Retail Discount, to apply in the years 2019/20 and 2020/21. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, in the Budget on 11 March the Government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Qualifying ratepayers will receive a discount of one third of the bill (after any other reliefs have been applied) for each of the 2019/20 and 100% of their bill for the 2020/21 financial years.

If successful, you will receive a revised bill.

Before you start

You must check if you are eligible to receive this discount.

If you feel that you may qualify for this relief, please apply. If you have more than one property, a separate form must be completed for each property. 

Whilst we do not anticipate that any businesses likely to receive a discount under this scheme will breach the State Aid rules, as the award of any discount could be classed as State Aid, the council must consider and comply with European Commission State Aid legislation.

This application therefore requires you to confirm that the granting of Retail Discount will not result in your organisation exceeding the State Aid de minimis threshold of €200,000 euros (approximately £175,000) over the last three financial years (including the current year). State Aid is usually in the form of grants, loans or tax breaks.

Visit GOV.UK for more details about state aid.

Types of properties considered retail

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used: A) as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues, B) for assembly and leisure; or C) as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation. We consider shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues to mean:

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

  • 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)

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

  • Hair and beauty services (such as: hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices e.g. 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

Properties 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

Types of properties not considered retail

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

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)
  • Medical services (e.g. doctors, vets, dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisors, tutors
  • Post office sorting offices

Hereditaments which are being used as cinemas

Hereditaments that are being used as live music venues

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
  • Hotels, Guest and Boarding Houses
  • Holiday homes
  • Caravan parks and sites

Properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

You will need

To complete the application you will need to provide the following information which can all be found on your Business Rates bill:

  • Your Business Rates account number
  • Details of your property
  • The rateable value of the business (you can find out about the rateable value using the GOV.UK  Find a property search tool.

What happens next

If successful, the discount will be awarded to your account, and a revised bill or refund will be issued. If your application is unsuccessful, you will be notified in writing with the reasons for refusal. If your circumstances change following any award of a discount, please remember to notify us immediately. 

You must adhere to your current payment plan whilst the application is being considered.

Start application