Business Rates information

Business Rate Retail Discount

Retail Discount 2022/23

At the Budget on 27 October 2021 the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new business rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties worth almost £1.7 billion in 2022/23. 

The 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief Scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 50% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief Scheme 50% discount is subject to a ‘cash cap’.  This means a ratepayer may only claim up to £110,000 of support under the 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme for all of their eligible premises.

Therefore, to claim the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief you must not have exceeded either the £110,000 cash cap for 2022/23 or the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit of £343,000 over 3 years (including 2022/23).

Who will benefit from the relief?

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied and wholly or mainly be used:

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

Sale of Goods

We consider shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues to mean:

  • 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)

Provision of services

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

Sale of food and drink

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


Properties which are being used as cinemas

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).

Properties 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 (e.g., the sale/supply of alcohol to audience members); and
  • do not affect the fact that the primary activity for the premises is the performance of live music.


We consider assembly and leisure to be properties 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

Properties that are being used for the assembly of visiting members of the public:

  • Public halls
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions

Hotels, guest & boarding premises, self-catering accommodation 

We consider hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation to be properties where the non-domestic part is being used for the provision of living accommodation as a business:

  • Hotels, guest and boarding houses
  • Holiday homes
  • Caravan parks and sites

For the avoidance of doubt, properties which have closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID19 should be treated as occupied for the purposes of this relief.

The following are examples of uses that the government does not consider to be retail for the purposes of this relief.

Services to visiting members of the public

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, short-term loan providers, betting shops)
  • Medical services (e.g., vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g., solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, employment agencies, estate agents, letting agents)
  • Post office sorting offices

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

You can view the full guidance at:

How it works

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

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

How to apply 

This discount will be automatically applied to the majority of eligible properties in April 2022.

Extension of Transitional Relief and Supporting Small Business Schemes

During the 27th October 2021 Budget the Government announced a temporary measure to extend the current:

  • transitional relief scheme, and 
  • the supporting small business scheme.

Individual billing authorities have to adopt a local scheme for 2022/23. 

The relief will be determined by the rateable value of the property you occupy and the guidance  set by Government.

We are looking to automatically apply these reliefs to those businesses that qualify. 

So that we can calculate the correct charges, our software system will need to be updated. Due to the late notice of these changes, these software changes are not yet available. 

This means that we are unable to calculate and award the relevant amount of discount to the 2022/23 bills.

We have decided to send the 2022/23 bills without the discount, as the amount of discount is anticipated to be fairly small.

This will give businesses the option of paying their 2022/23 bill from April 2022. Any payment you make towards your 2022/23 bill will help reduce the amount you will need to pay once we send you the correct bill later in the year.

We can look at reducing your monthly instalments for the interim period, if you do not want to wait until the end of the summer to receive your correct bill. 

We would like to offer our apologies for not being in a position to include the above reliefs within the 2022/23 bills, but we are working hard with our software provides to resolve this as soon as possible. We will contact all eligible businesses later in the year, once we are in a position to award the above reliefs.

Please contact us on 0300 1234 105 if you would like us to look at reducing your monthly instalments for the interim period.

The COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund

The Government has launched a new fund called the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF), to support businesses affected by the pandemic

We are in the process of devising a scheme based on the guidance provided by the government.

The CARF will not be awarded if the business has received or was eligible for:

  • the Extended Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure), 
  • the Nursery Discount or 
  • the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme.

The property must be occupied or closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on Covid-19.

We will update this page, with further information and how to apply once the scheme has been approved.

Non-Domestic Rates

Non-Domestic Rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1st April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a favourable local environment for growth since authorities will benefit from growth in business rates revenues. The money, together with revenue from council tax payers and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by local authorities in your area. Further information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs, may be obtained at

Rateable Value

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain a full list of all rateable values, available at . The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1st April 2017, this date was set as 1st April 2015.

The valuation officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can request a change to the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong, through the reformed Check, Challenge, Appeal (CCA) process introduced in April 2017. Full details on the CCA process are available from the VOA or from . Your billing authority can only backdate any business rates rebate to the date from which any change to the list is to have effect.

Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the  website.

National Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier

The local authority works out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers: the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The former is higher to pay for small business rate relief. Except in the City of London where special arrangements apply, the Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to formulae set by legislation.

The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.

Business Rates Instalments

Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10-monthly cycle. However, the Government has put in place regulations that allow businesses to require their local authority to enable payments to be made through 12 monthly instalments. If you wish to take up this offer, you should contact the local authority as soon as possible.

Unoccupied Property Rating

Business rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period rates are payable in full. In most cases the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the unoccupied property rate. Full details on exemptions can be obtained from your local authority.

Partly Occupied Property Relief

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority has discretion in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Small Business Rate Relief

Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (and who are not entitled to other mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

In addition, generally, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value which does not exceed £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%. For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a 100% reduction in their rates bill.

Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either—

(a) one property, or

(b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,899.

The aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b) must not exceed £19,999 outside London or £27,999 in London on each day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.

The Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Where a ratepayer meets the eligibility criteria and has not received the relief they should contact their local authority. Provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will automatically continue to receive relief in each new valuation period.

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by a ratepayer who is in receipt of relief (other changes will be picked up by the local authority). The changes which should be notified are—

(a) the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and

(b) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.

Charity and Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or the club, and is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs).

The local authority has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Relief for Local Newspapers

The Government is providing funding to local authorities so that they can provide a discount worth up to £1,500 a year on office space occupied by local newspapers. This was due to run to 2024/25.

Local Discounts

Local authorities have a general power to grant discretionary local discounts. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

State Aid

The award of discounts is considered likely to amount to state aid. However, it will be state aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to EUR 200,000 ‘de minimis’ aid over a rolling three-year period. If you are receiving, or have received, any ‘de minimis’ aid granted during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), you should inform the local authority immediately with details of the aid received.

Hardship Relief

The local authority has discretion to give hardship relief in specific circumstances. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Rating advisers

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS - website ) and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV - website ) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance.

Information Supplied with Demand Notices

Information relating to the relevant and previous financial years in regard to the gross expenditure of the local authority is available at

A hard copy is available on request by writing to the council or by calling

0300 1234 105

Read the business rates information leaflet for 2021/22.

Previous years business rates information can be found at the following links: