Business and investment Business rates relief and exemptions

Expanded retail discount

Applications for expanded retail relief closed on 30 September 2022.

New occupiers and occupiers of newly created properties can apply for this discount. Applications must be made within six months of the end of the financial year, and must be received by us in sufficient time to enable a decision to be made. 

From April 2020 the total amount of discount available is 100% of the net amount of business rates chargeable (before then the figure was one third of net business rates chargeable). There is no rateable value limit on this discount and state aid limits do not apply.

We will consider each award based on individual merits. We may decline an application, or withdraw an award, where the retail property and business does not support our wider objectives or is determined to be having a detrimental impact on the neighbourhood or community. 

From 1 July 2021 the discount will reduce to 66% and be subject to the following 'cash caps':

  • £2 million for ratepayers who were mandated by the Government to close their business on 5 January 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • £105,000 for all other ratepayers.

Eligible retail properties descriptions

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

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

The Government has provided guidance on the types of businesses that fall within each of the above categories.

Ineligible retail properties descriptions

This list shows the type of uses that are not considered to be 'retail use' for the purpose of this discount.

1. Retail properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • financial services such as banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers;
  • medical services such as vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors;
  • professional services such as solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors; and 
  • post office sorting offices

2. Retail properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

3. Retail properties that do not support our wider objectives or have a detrimental impact on neighbourhoods and communities.

How it works 

Eligibility for expanded retail discount and the discount itself will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis. The discount will be applied against the net bill after all other reliefs.

Where the net rate liability for the day, after all other reliefs but before expanded retail discount, is less than the expanded retail discount, the maximum amount of this discount will be no more than the value of the net rate liability.

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

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