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Reliefs and discounts

Business rate grants and reliefs

Small Business Grants Fund (£10,000)

The government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no Business Rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to around 700,000 business currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs. 

You can also apply if you do not receive SBRR but have a rateable value of £15,000 or under and your business premises is classed as retail, leisure or hospitality. This was extended to include betting shops, estate / letting agents, employment agencies, community groups and charity shops.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (£25,000)

A grant of £25,000 will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with rateable values between £15,001 and £50,999. This was extended to include betting shops, estate / letting agents, employment agencies, community groups and charity shops.

To qualify for the above grants you must have been already registered as the ratepayer on 11 March 2020.

If you believe that you may be entitled and you have not already completed an application please apply online. A brief online application and declaration will need to be completed.

You will need your business rate account number to complete the form. If you have multiple properties you will need to complete a separate grant request for each one of these quoting the unique business rate account number for each property. 

You do not need to employ a third party to apply for the grants and any application will only take a few minutes. The intention of the grant is to assist with business continuity and is not a rates reduction.

If you don't have your rate account number and you don't have access to your business premises to retrieve it, please email our business rates team at  businessrates@gateshead.gov.uk and they will be able to help you with this. Please quote Grant Relief in the subject title of your email.

Important State Aid information

Any business receiving the Small Business Grant (SBGF) of £10,000 or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) of £25,000, should be aware of the changes made to state aid limits.

The state aid limit for businesses receiving the Small Business Grant remains at 200,000 euros over a three year period whereas the limit for businesses receiving the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant has been increased to 800,000 euros over a three year period. The larger limit will mainly apply to large national companies.

If you believe you will exceed either of these limits you must contact the council's business rates team for advice.

Expanded retail discount - 2020 to 2021

The Government has announced that from 1 April 2020 retail discount will be increased to 100%.

This is awarded to occupied properties that are predominantly retail and has been extended to hospitality and leisure properties (such as gyms, theatres, hotels and museums) and private childcare nurseries.

Properties that have now closed due to Government guidance are still entitled to the relief. If you are already in receipt of this we will be updating the award on your account and issuing updated bills in due course.

To apply for a grant, please visit our Business Rate Grants page.

  1. Unoccupied properties
  2. Part occupied properties
  3. Small Business Rate Relief SBRR
  4. Mandatory Relief
  5. Discretionary Relief
  6. Rate Relief for Community Amateur Sports Clubs( CASCs )
  7. Hardship
  8. Rural Rate Relief
  9. Relief for charities
  10. Discretionary Revaluation Relief
  11. Retail Discount
  12. Pub Relief

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.

The Government has temporarily doubled the rate of Small Business Rate Relief since 1 October 2010. Eligible ratepayer will pay no rates on properties with rateable values up to £6,000 with a tapered relief of between 100% and 0% for properties with rateable values between £6,001 and £12,000.

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 European rules on state aid. 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. Discretionary Revaluation Relief

The discretionary revaluation relief provides support to businesses that face increases in their business rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation. The relief is cash limited based on funding from central government and is subject to state aid limits.

The relief is effective from 1 April 2017 and will be provided over four years. The amount of relief will gradually reduce over this four year period.

You may be eligible if  :

  • Your business rates have increased as a result of the 2017 revaluation
  • Your rateable value is less than £100,000
  • National companies and licensed bookmakers are excluded from the scheme
  • The property was registered to the same ratepayer on 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017

If you meet the criteria there will be no increase in your rates payable from 1 April 2017 due to the revaluation. Please note that the minimum relief award is £100.

No application is required and eligible businesses will have had the relief automatically added to their account and had an amended bill issued.

Future year awards will be based on applying a percentage to the 2017/18 entitlement amount. The percentages to be applied for the relevant years are :

  • 2018/19 - 45% of the 2017/18 relief award (minimum award £100)
  • 2019/20 - 18% of the 2017/18 relief award (minimum award £100)
  • 2020/21 - 6.25% of the 2017/18 relief award (minimum award £100)

11. Retail Discount

Retail discount can be awarded to occupied retail properties with a rateable value under £51,000 where the property is being used for the sale of goods and services to visiting members of the public.

If you are entitled, a discount will be applied to your account that will reduce your net rates bill by a third for 2019/20 and by half for the 2020/21 financial year.

Retail properties are considered to be shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments and include:

Shops

  • florists, bakers, butchers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets and so on
  • charity shops
  • post offices
  • furnishing shops / display rooms (such as carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • car / caravan showrooms
  • second hand car lots
  • markets
  • petrol stations
  • garden centres
  • art galleries (where art is for sale / hire)

Services

  • hair and beauty services (such as hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops and so on)
  • shoe repairs / key cutting
  • travel agents
  • ticket offices, for example at theatres
  • dry cleaners / laundrettes
  • PC / TV / domestic appliance repair
  • funeral directors
  • photo processing
  • tool hire
  • car hire

Food and drink

  • restaurants
  • takeaways
  • sandwich shops
  • coffee shops
  • pubs
  • bars
  • cinemas and live music venues (from 1 April 2020)

The relief cannot be applied to:

  • financial services (banks, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • other services (for example estate agents, letting agents, employment services)
  • medical services (for example vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • professional services (for example solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisors, tutors)
  • post office sorting offices
  • sport or physical recreation services (for example gyms)

Icon for pdf Retail Discount application form [128.9KB]

12. Pub Relief

From 1 April 2020 relief of up to £1000 can be awarded to public houses. The pub must be occupied and have a rateable value under £100,000. This should already be shown on your bill that will be issued in March 2020.

If you do not have this relief but think that you may be eligible please contact the business rates team. It is free to claim and only takes a few minutes to sort. You do not need to employ a third party to claim the reliefs.

This relief is subject to state aid rules. If you believe that you will exceed state aid limits (approximately €200,000 over 3 years) you must advise Gateshead Council.

Email businessrates@gateshead.gov.uk or call 0191 4334726

Contact us

Business Rates
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Gateshead
NE8 1HH

0191 433 4726
businessrates@gateshead.gov.uk

Office hours:

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

Please email businessrates@gateshead.gov.uk outside of these working hours. 

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