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Reliefs and discounts

  1. Unoccupied properties
  2. Part occupied properties
  3. Small Business Rate Relief SBRR
  4. Mandatory Relief
  5. Discretionary Relief and Localism Reliefs
  6. Rate Relief for Community Amateur Sports Clubs( CASCs )
  7. Hardship
  8. Rural Rate Relief
  9. Relief for charities
  10. Expanded retail discount (2021-22)
  11. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief (2022-23)
  12. Nursery Discount
  13. Covid Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

1. Unoccupied properties

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, for example, factories, warehouses. After this period, rates are payable in full unless they are exempt from unoccupied rating, including: 

Listed buildings or those subject to a preservation order

Properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900

Unoccupied properties owned by charities or community amateur sports clubs, that are to be next occupied for charitable purposes, are exempt from unoccupied rates.

Ratepayers must notify the council immediately when a property becomes vacant so that an inspection can be arranged to verify that it is fully unoccupied, the council will only grant empty relief from the date it is notified that a property is vacant and will not grant retrospective claims which cannot be verified.

Icon for pdf Unoccupied Property application form [41.32KB]

2. Part occupied properties

if a property is only partly occupied on a temporary basis Gateshead Council can ask the Valuation Office to determine the rateable values of both the occupied and unoccupied parts.

The rates payable on each part can then be calculated so that the ratepayer only pays the full rates for the occupied part and an empty rate charge for the unoccupied part.

An application will only be considered from the date received and will not usually be awarded in retrospect.

Further details can be obtained from Gateshead Council, alternatively you can complete and return the application form.

Icon for pdf Part Occupied Property application form [26.2KB]

3. Small Business Rate Relief ( SBRR )

A ratepayer can receive full relief if the rateable value is under £12,000, this declines in percentage terms on a sliding scale until it is 0% at £15,000.

The relief is only available to ratepayers with either:

  • one property; or
  • one main property and other additional properties providing those properties have rateable values less than £2,900 up to a combined rateable value limit of £20,000.

Full details can be obtained from Gateshead Council, alternatively you can complete and return the application form.

Icon for pdf Small Business Rate Relief application form [82.49KB]

4. Mandatory Relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to mandatory relief from rates.

This applies to any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable or non-profit making purposes.

A charity is an organisation established for charitable purposes. To have charitable status usually means that you are included in the Charity Commissioner's register of charities. There are some charities that do not need to register; these are known as 'excepted charities' and include organisations such as:

  • The Church Commissioners
  • Some Scout Association and Guide Association units
  • Voluntary schools

Relief is given at 80% of the bill or, if the property is unoccupied and when next in use is to be used for charitable purposes. 

Occupiers of the following can qualify for mandatory rate relief:

  • Non-domestic premises occupied by a charity or the trustees of a charity where the premises are used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes;
  • In the cases of charity shops, the use of the premises must be wholly or mainly for the sale of goods donated to the charity and the proceeds of the sale (less deductions for expenses) are applied to the purpose of the charity;
  • Non-domestic premises occupied by an organisation which, although not a registered charity, has charitable objectives and the organisation is treat a being a charity for UK tax purposes.

Where mandatory relief is awarded the ratepayer cannot apply for Small Business Rate Relief.

Full details can be obtained from Gateshead Council, alternatively you can complete and return the application form.

Icon for pdf Mandatory Relief application form [36.26KB]

5. Discretionary Relief

Gateshead Council has a discretionary power to grant relief from rates in respect of non-domestic properties occupied by one of the following:

  • Not for profit organisations whose main objectives are charitable, philanthropic, religious, concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts;
  • Not for profit organisations occupying premises wholly or mainly for the purposes of recreation;
  • Organisations entitled to mandatory relief (as above).

Each application for discretionary relief is considered on an individual basis and any award will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Further details can be obtained from Gateshead Council, alternatively you can complete and return the application form with the supporting evidence required to assess the application form.

Icon for pdf Discretionary Relief application form [36.26KB]

Localism Relief

This further extended the power to grant relief to any circumstances as the Council sees fit within the limits of primary legislation and State Subsidy rules. These can be used to encourage new business and investment, as well as supporting local shops or community services. Any award must be in the interest of Gateshead Council Tax payers.

Guidance when considering any application is attached.

A written submission with supporting evidence should be submitted and this will be considered by the Business Rates and Economic Development Officers with the decision being made by the Head of Service.

Icon for pdf Localism guidance [146.73KB]

6. Rate Relief for Community Amateur Sports Clubs ( CASC )

Registered community amateur sports clubs can receive 80% mandatory relief from Business Rates. To qualify for relief as a CASC, a sports club must

  • be run as an amateur club;
  • be open to the whole community;
  • be a non-profit making organisation;
  • aim to provide facilities and encourage people to take part in sport;

be registered with the Her Majesty's Revenues & Customs as a CASC. If you are not registered as a CASC and would like further information, please contact the Sports Club Unit at the HM Revenues & Customs.

Full details can be obtained from Gateshead Council, alternatively you can complete and return the application form.

Icon for pdf Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) application form [9.68KB]

7. Hardship

Gateshead Council has discretionary powers to grant relief for businesses experiencing particular financial hardship/exceptional circumstances.

The cost falls directly on the Council Tax payers. As a result, the ability to award this discretion is restricted and will usually only be awarded where it is evident that to do so is in the interests of the community that the ratepayer remains in business.

Each case will be considered on its own merits, factors include:

  • the ratepayer provides a unique, regularly required amenity;
  • the potential loss of employment provided by the ratepayer would be severely damaging to the local community;
  • the award of any relief would prevent the ratepayer from closing;
  • the award would be for a specific short term period and would not continue beyond one financial year.

Further details can be obtained from Gateshead Council. An application form is attached. Please complete and return the application form together with the supporting evidence required to assess the application.

Icon for pdf Hardship application form [10.04KB]

8. Rural Rate Relief

Certain types of property in a rural settlement with a population below 3000 may be entitled to relief of 100%. Prior to 1 April 2017 this was 50%.

  • The business must be the only general store, food shop or post office with a rateable value of less than £8,500; or
  • The only public house or petrol station with a rateable value of less than £12,500.

To qualify for such relief the property must be occupied.

In addition, Gateshead Council can give relief on certain other occupied property in a rural settlement where the rateable value is less than £16,500.

Full details can be obtained from Gateshead Council, alternatively you can complete and return the application form.

Icon for pdf Rural Relief application form [11.21KB]

9. Relief for charities

Charities are entitled to 80% rate relief on non-domestic property, which is wholly or mainly occupied for the purposes of the charity. The Council also has the discretion to remit all or part of the remaining 20% of a charity's bill. This discretionary power also allows the Council to remit all or part of any rate bill for property occupied by certain bodies not established or conducted for profit.

If you would like to apply please download an application form by clicking on the link below. Once completed the form should be returned to the address shown above.

Discretionary relief may also be applicable to charities.

Icon for pdf Relief for Charities application form [10.48KB]

10. Expanded retail discount

On 3 March 2021 the Government confirmed that the expanded retail discount would continue to apply in 2021-2022 at 100% for three months, from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

The relief would then reduce to 66% for the remaining period, from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022.

From 1 July 2021, relief will be capped at £105,000 per business, or £2 million per business where the business is in occupation of a premises that was required to close, based on the national restrictions applicable on 5 January 2021.

Only the Retail Discount from 1 July 2021 is subject to a cash cap. The cash cap does not apply for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

Read more on how to accept or refuse the expanded retail discount

11. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief

Relief can be awarded to eligible businesses in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Relief will be 50% for the occupied premises, or where the business occupies multiple premises the combined relief awarded will be capped at £110,000.

This relief is subject to state subsidy rules.

Further guidance can be found on the website

Read more about eligibility, applying or opting out

12. Nursery Discount

Properties occupied by providers of Ofsted's Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage will qualify for 100% relief.

This has been temporarily extended until 30 June 2021. From 1 July to 31 March 2022 this will reduce to 66%

The 66% discount applicable from 1st July 2021 is subject to a 'cash cap' of £105,000. This means a ratepayer may only receive up to the following cash caps of Expanded Retail Discount in 2021-22, ignoring any relief for the period before 1st July 2021

If you believe that you are entitled to this relief but it is not shown on your bill please contact the business rates team.

13. Covid Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

Businesses that have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact can now apply for a Business Rates Relief to reduce their Business Rates bill. Applications close on 31 May 2022.

Businesses that are in receipt of Retail Discount, Nursery Discount or 100% Small Business Rate relief will not be eligible. Vacant premises will also not qualify (apart from temporary absence due to government advice on Covid).

The relief is easy to apply for and you do not need to employ a third party to do this for you

Find out more

Contact us

Business Rates
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street

0191 433 4726

Office hours:

Telephone enquiries can be made on a Monday to Thursday between the hours of 8.45am to 5pm and on a Friday between 8.45am to 4.30pm. 

Please email outside of these working hours. 

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