Business rates relief

The Government has announced emergency expansions to the retail discount for businesses, providing 100% Business Rates Relief for 12 months from 1 April 2020. The Council will, where at all possible, grant the relief automatically without the need for applications.

We are currently working through our data to identify all businesses eligible for the relief. Where we identify a business as eligible, the relief will be automatically applied to the account and businesses will be issued a new bill.

There is no need to contact the council to apply for this relief, but if you do have questions you can call the team on 01206 282333 or email During this difficult time, we ask that businesses are patient. A member of the team will get back to you as soon as they can.

If you believe that your business falls into the categories listed below, please do not pay your April instalment for business rates. The Business Rates team are working hard to amend bills as quickly as possible.

Eligible premises 

To be eligible, the premises must be occupied unless they have closed under Government advice in response to COVID-19.  The premises must be wholly or mainly used for retail or early years provision as listed below.


Properties occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register used for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage. 

Shops including:  

  • Florists and garden centres 
  • Bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, supermarkets 
  • Markets 
  • Jewellers 
  • Stationers 
  • Off licences 
  • Chemists 
  • Opticians 
  • Newsagents 
  • Post offices 
  • Hardware stores 
  • Charity shops 
  • Furnishing shops and display rooms (such as carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors) 
  • Car/caravan show rooms and second-hand car lots 
  • Petrol stations 
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire) 
  • Garden centres

Premises used for the following services for visiting members of the public including: 

  • Hair and beauty services (such as hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops)
  • 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

Premises used for the sale of food and/or drink to visiting members of the public including: 

  • Restaurants 
  • Cafes and coffee shops  
  • Takeaways and sandwich shops 
  • Pubs and bars 

Sport and leisure facilities including:  

  • Cinemas 
  • Live music venues 
  • Sports grounds and clubs 
  • Museums 
  • Art galleries 
  • Nightclubs 
  • Sport & leisure facilities 
  • Stately homes and historic houses 
  • Theatres 
  • Tourist attractions 
  • Gyms 
  • Wellness centres, spas, massage parlours
  • Casinos, gambling clubs and bingo hall

Premises for assembly and leisure including:  

  • Public halls 
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions 

Premises used for the provision of living accommodation as a business including:  

  • Hotels, guest & boarding premises 
  • Holiday homes 
  • Self-catering accommodation 
  • Caravan parks and sites 

Page last reviewed: 27 May 2020