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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. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief
  10. Supporting Small Business Relief (SSBR)
  11. Additional Support for ratepayers that were affected by the 2017 Revaluation

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.

Unoccupied Property application form (PDF) [186KB] (opens new window)

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.

Part Occupied Property application form (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

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.

Apply for SBRR

Below are two tables. The first shows the rates payable from April 2023 by businesses able to claim Small Business Rate Relief who occupy a single property having a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 for the financial year 2023/2024. The second shows the percentage relief available for each rateable value. 

Since 1 April 2017 businesses occupying only one property with a rateable value below £12,000 should be paying no rates.

These figures are based on the Small Business non-domestic multiplier for 2023/2024 which has been set by central governments at 49.9p in the pound. It may still be possible for some businesses to claim this relief back over many years. 

Key: RV - Rateable Value 
£ - Amount payable after claiming Small Business Rate Relief for financial year 2023/2024. 

Note: These figures may vary by a few pence due to variations in decimal point calculations. 

RV£RV£RV% Relief RV% Relief 

View this information as a PDF  (PDF) [1MB]

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 treated as 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.

Mandatory Relief application form (PDF) [226KB] (opens new window)

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.

Discretionary Relief application form (PDF) [198KB] (opens new window)

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.

Localism guidance (PDF) [146KB]

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.

Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) application form (PDF) [9KB] (opens new window)

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.

Hardship application form (PDF) [132KB] (opens new window)

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.

Rural Relief application form (PDF) [356KB] (opens new window)

9. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief

Relief can be awarded to eligible businesses in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors.

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

Relief for 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 will be 75%. For the 2022/2023 financial year this was 50%.

This relief is subject to state subsidy rules.

Further guidance can be found on the website (opens new window)

Read more about eligibility, applying or opting out

10. Supporting Small Business Relief (SSBR)

Support is given to small businesses when they have in increase in their rates payable due to an increase in their rateable value at revaluation. The increase in rateable value results in either a reduction or loss of Small Business Rate Relief.

This relief caps any increase to a maximum of £600 for the 2023/24 financial year, then £1,200 for the 2024/25 financial year and then finally £1,800 for the 2025/26 financial year. A new revaluation is due for the following year.


Rates Payable 2022/23Capped Rates     
£0.00 as full relief awarded£600£1,200£1,800
£1,500.00 as part relief awarded£2,100£2,700£3,300

The property must be occupied and if the premises become vacant there is no further entitlement to this relief. Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs do not qualify for this.

11. Additional Support for ratepayers that were affected by the 2017 Revaluation

For those businesses that saw a reduction or loss of Small Business Rate Relief in 2017, the Government has extended their relief for a further year. This caps any increase at £600 each year from 2017/18 to 2023/24 (7 years) so the current year's charge will be capped at an increase of £4,200 over their bill payable in 2016/17. The charge for 2024/25 will no longer have this support.

This relief should be applied automatically. However, if you believe that you are entitled to this support but it is not shown on your bill, please contact the business rates team.

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.