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Reliefs and discounts

  1. Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)
  2. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief
  3. Unoccupied properties
  4. Mandatory Relief 
  5. Rate Relief for Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs)
  6. Supporting Small Business Relief (SSBR)
  7. Heat networks relief
  8. Rural Rate Relief
  9. Hardship
  10. Discretionary Relief and Localism Reliefs
  11. Part occupied properties
  12. Additional Support for ratepayers that were affected by the 2017 Revaluation
  13. Improvement Relief (from 1 April 2024)

1. 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

2. 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 2024 to 31 March 2025 will be 75%. This was also the rate of relief for 2023 to 2024 financial year.

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

3. 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)

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. 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)

6. 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 2024 to 2025 financial year, then £1,200 for the 2024 to 2025 financial year and then finally £1,800 for the 2025 to 2026 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.

 7. Heat networks relief

You can claim heat networks relief if your property is only used or mainly used as a 'heat network'.

A heat network supplies heating or cooling to other properties from a central source. To be eligible, the heat network must:

  • take its energy from a low carbon source
  • supply heating and cooling to other properties. For example: homes, shops, public building, hospitals or offices

The heat network must not supply heat or cooling for industrial use. For example, to create products in factories.

What you'll get

You will not pay business rates if your property is eligible for heat networks relief.

How to claim heat networks relief

You can only claim this relief via the Valuation Office Agency. You can contact the Valuation Office Agency (opens new window) to check if your property is eligible for heat networks relief.

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)

8. 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)

9. 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]

10. 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)

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 to 2018 to 2023 to 2024 (7 years) so the current year's charge will be capped at an increase of £4,200 over their bill payable in 2016 to 2017. The charge for 2024 to 2025 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.

12. Improvement Relief (from 1 April 2024)

Where improvement works have been made to a property and completed after 1st April 2024, the Valuation Office can provide a certificate to the Council so that any increase in the Rateable Value is delayed for up to 12 months.

Qualifying improvements include:

  • a physical extension
  • a new building within a larger hereditament
  • the removal of a structural wall in a shop which increases zoning
  • the addition of lining to an industrial unit
  • the addition of a structural mezzanine floor in an industrial unit
  • a reconstitution (split/merger) - where qualifying works undertaken

The relief lasts for 1 year from the date that the works were complete, however the relief ceases if a new occupier takes over.

New properties are not entitled to this relief.

For further information 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.