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Apply for a Retail Discount

Since 2019/20 the government has provided a Business Rates Retail Discount for retail properties which for 2020/21 it expanded to include the leisure and hospitality sectors.

On 3 March 2021 the government confirmed that the Expanded Retail Discount would in 2021/22 at 100% for three months, from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021, and at 66% for the remaining period, from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. The government confirmed that there would be no cash cap on the relief received for the period from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

From 1 July 2021, the maximum value of relief a business can claim is:

  • £2 million for properties which based on the COVID rules at 5 January were required to close
  • £105,000 for properties not required to close
  • £2 million for all properties

Retail Discount is awarded under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (as amended); this act applies restrictions to date from which relief can be awarded.

The effective date of any new applications will be:

Where the application is made on or before 30 September in the current rating year, the latter of:

  • 1 April in the previous year; or
  • The date of occupation of the premises

Where the application is made on or after 1 October in the current rating year, the latter of:

  • 1 April in the current year; or
  • The date of occupation of the premises

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. 

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

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

Types of properties not considered eligible

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)
  • Medical services (e.g. doctors, vets, dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisors, tutors
  • Post office sorting offices

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

Updated: 14 October 2021