Manchester City Council

Business & investment Relief and exemptions

Important statement about new reliefs available from 2017

In his budget the Chancellor announced three new schemes of relief to support businesses,

  • Supporting Small Businesses;
  • New Business Rate Relief for pubs; and
  • New Discretionary Relief Scheme                                            

Supporting small businesses

Those ratepayers who may be entitled to this relief have been identified and their payment arrangement adjusted to give effect to the relief. The amount of relief due has been loaded onto the last instalment of the current year's payment arrangement thereby reducing the amount of earlier instalments.

Once software changes are introduced shortly the relief will formally be awarded and amended demands issued. Please note that at this point the amount of relief will be checked again and adjusted as necessary to take into account changes to the original manual calculation as well as the change of circumstances that have taken place in the interim (for example ratepayer moves, properties becoming empty, changes to rateable values etc).

New business rate relief for pubs

We have written to Pubs in Manchester with a rateable value of less than £100,000 to invite them to apply for this relief.

If you haven’t received a letter and application form by 30 August 2017 and your pub,

  • is an occupied property with a rateable value of less than £100,000; 
  • is open to the general public;
  • allows drinking without the purchase of food;
  • allows free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided; and
  • permits drinks to be purchased at a bar,

Please complete an application form and return it to us as soon as possible.

Business Rates Relief Scheme (revaluation)

Claims are invited from businesses which are facing an increase in their bills following revaluation and meet the conditions set out below.
Please download and complete an application form.

  • the rateable value of the property for 2017/18 is less than £200,000; and
  • the increase in the 2017/18 bill for the property is more than 12.5 per cent compared to the 2016/17 bill (before reliefs); and
  • the ratepayer must have been in continual occupation from before 1 April 2017.

In addition, more support will be provided to:

  • ratepayers or localities that face the most significant increases in bills; and
  • ratepayers occupying lower value properties.

All applications will be considered on their own merits in an open and transparent manner.

When considering applications, the Council will be mindful of the following matters:

  • Whether the ratepayer, business or organisation provides any benefits to the city, the community and/or the council tax payer, such as increasing employment or improving amenities available to the local community.
  • Consideration of whether there are other businesses in the area which provide the same or similar services or facilities and whether the award could have an anti-competitive effect on other businesses in the city.
  • Consideration of whether there are other businesses in the area which provide the same or similar services or facilities and the impact of these establishments on neighbourhoods and communities. This is especially relevant for betting shops, payday loan shops and pawnbrokers.
  • The individual merits of each application taking into account whether the business is supporting the Council’s wider objectives.
  • The number of employees based in the hereditament on which relief is being sought.
  • The scale of the organisation and whether they are a national/multi-national concern as opposed to a local concern.
  • Whether the business property has empty or occupied periods.
  • Whether the Council determines that an intermittent occupation tax mitigation/avoidance scheme is in operation.

The Council will not grant any relief where a business is determined to be having a detrimental impact on neighbourhoods and communities. This is especially relevant for off licences, take away and late night food establishments, pubs, bars, and shisha bars where applications will be considered in the context of the impact on the neighbourhood and community.

Applications for relief will be considered by the Council on receipt and discounts will be applied to accounts later in the year with any awards backdated to 1 April 2017. Payment should be made in accordance with the current Business Rates bill until advised otherwise.

Reliefs and exemptions

Occupied premises

Occupied premises may be eligible for certain reliefs including:



Unoccupied premises

When a non-domestic property becomes empty, there is no charge for the first three months, or six months in the case of industrial property. After this, the empty property will be charged at the full business rates. There are some exemptions from this such as listed buildings and properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900. 

Full list of exemptions for unoccupied property.

Partly-occupied premises

If only parts of your property are unoccupied, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) may be able to value the unoccupied property separately. The rule about charging after three or six months will then apply to the unoccupied property. If the VOA can't value the unoccupied parts separately, you may still be able to claim some relief under Section 44a of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, which deals with relief on part-occupied properties.

National Non-Domestic Rates Policy document - areas of local discretion April 2017

Other sources of support

Business and inward investment have a big part to play in the successful future of our city and we also support business directly though our partners. The Business Growth Hub provides information about support for business.



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