Discretionary Rate Relief

Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, gives the power for the Council to consider the award of Discretionary Rate Relief to certain organisations.

The Council has introduced a policy where a panel of elected members will consider applications for discretionary relief, and decide if any award should be made, and if so, how much.

Charities and organisations that are not established or conducted for profit can apply for discretionary relief. Charities usually receive a mandatory 80% reduction in their rates bill and can apply for relief against all or part of the 20% remaining amount.

A not-for-profit organisation can apply against all or part of their full rates bill.

Community Amateur Sports Clubs, that are registered as such with HMRC, will usually receive a mandatory 80% reduction in their rates bill and can apply for discretionary relief against all or part of what they still have to pay.

Properties in a defined rural settlement can receive Rural Rate Relief where they are the sole post office, general store, public house or petrol filling station, where they are within Government set Rateable Value limits. This is currently a mandatory 100% off their bill. Any rate payer with a property in that settlement can also apply for discretionary relief. 

Other Business Rate payers can either apply for discretionary relief in accordance with the policy. Alternatively, the Council also has a specific policy for applications for discretionary relief from ratepayers moving in to the area or who are expanding their existing business. Details and an application form can be found in the Downloads area.

Hardship Relief

Discretionary Relief of up to 100% can be awarded to ratepayers who would suffer financial hardship, were it not to be awarded. Contact us if you wish to apply.

Other Ratepayers, can also apply for Discretionary Rate Relief under powers granted by Section 69 of the Localism Act 2011, where it is in the interests of local Council Taxpayers to do so.

The Council has a Local Business Rate Relief Policy to support policy to support Business Growth. You can read the full policy here.

Other Ratepayers can also apply for relief which will be considered by the Panel of Councillors.

How can I apply?

To apply for discretionary relief, we need a clear picture of your trading position. Please send the following information:

  • A history of your business during the last 3 years (or from when you commenced trading if less than 3 years)
  • A set of accounts covering a financial year which ended in the last 12 months (if you have not already done so)
  • A projected profit and loss account covering the coming 6 months, together with an explanation of all the assumptions made
  • A statement indicating how, if relief was awarded, it would be used to benefit the business and the direct employment of staff
  • A statement describing the benefits the business brings to local people

Please contact us with the information to apply.

We aim to deal with each application within six weeks.


Any award of a Discretionary Rate Relief will be at least part funded by Local Council Tax payers. Every application will be dealt with on its own merits, but general factors that are taken into account include:

  • Awards must be in the interests of Local Council Tax payers
  • Decisions over the amount of an award can only be made once the ratepayers actual liability amount is known
  • The business or organisation must bring significant benefits to the local area or community
  • National and profitable organisations are less likely to receive a discretionary award
  • Ratepayers need to do all they can to reduce or fund their Rates bill as awards are discretionary and cannot be relied upon year after year

Any Discretionary Relief Application needs to made with knowledge of State Aid funding rules (The De Minimis Regulations (1407/2013)).

In short, a Business / Organisation cannot receive more than 200,000 euros of discretionary aid in any three-year period, and has to declare all such relief to the Council.

Most small businesses will not receive much (or any) discretionary aid (which does not include reductions such as Small Business Rate Relief). Larger businesses may when the total for all premises they have is added together.