Rate Relief

Retail discount

Hereditaments that meet the eligibility for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme (RHL) will be occupied hereditaments which meet all of the following conditions for the chargeable day.

They are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas or live music venue
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

Autumn Budget statement 22 November 2023 update

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the relief of 75 per cent from 1 April 2024 would continue for eligible ratepayers.

The previous Retail, Hospitality and Leisure schemes were:

  • 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021: 100 per cent relief
  • 1 April 2021 to 31 June 2021: 100 per cent relief
  • 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022: 66 per cent relief
  • 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023: 50 per cent relief
  • 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024: 75 per cent relief

The 2024/25 scheme will provide eligible occupied retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 75 per cent relief up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

Ratepayers who are eligible and currently in receipt of RHL will have their accounts automatically updated and notified via their annual bills. The RHL Relief Scheme is subject to the Minimal Financial Assistance limits under the Subsidy Control Act.

Please read the Government’s guidance on 2024/25 RHL Rate Relief and the subsidy control rules. You are required to comply with the International UK subsidy and control. There is guidance for businesses on subsidy for the 2024/25 financial year.

Mandatory charity relief

Section 43 of the Local Government Finance Act1988 allows mandatory relief (80%) to be granted on premises where the ratepayer is a charity or trustees for a charity and the premises are wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes and amended by the Local Government Act 2003 to include Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) which are registered with HMRC as a CASC. These organisations can receive the mandatory (80%) relief.

State aid guidance

View information on state aid guidance.

Charitable Discretionary Relief

Charities are entitled to relief from Business Rates on any non-domestic property, which is wholly, or mainly, used for charitable purposes.  Where 80% Mandatory Relief has been granted, the Council has the discretion to remit all or part of the remaining 20% of a Charity’s bill.

The Council has discretion to remit all or part of the bill for certain non-profit making bodies that are not entitled to Mandatory Relief.  The Council’s discretionary rate relief policy has been reviewed due to changes in legislation under the Local Government Finance Bill and the Business Rate Retention Scheme which comes into effect from 1 April 2013.

Community amateur sports club

The Charity Commissioners now also recognise most community amateur sports clubs as charitable.  Sports clubs will need to be registered with the Inland Revenue and make their facilities available to all members of the public for improving health and fitness.  Online services and guidance can be viewed on the Charity Commission website.

Rural rate relief

Certain types of properties in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 may be entitled to relief. The property must be the only general store, the only post office or a food shop and have a rateable value of less than £8,500, or the only public house or the only petrol station and have a rateable value of less than £12,500. The property has to be occupied. An eligible ratepayer is entitled to relief at 50% of the full charge whilst the local authority also has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. The 2016 Autumn Statement confirmed the doubling of rural rate relief from 50% to 100% from 1 April 2017. Local authorities will be expected to use their local discount powers to grant 100% rural rate relief to eligible ratepayers from 1 April 2017.

Localism rate relief

Discretionary relief is given at the discretion of the Council and up to 100% can be given to a ratepayer not entitled to mandatory rate relief (Charity or Rural Rate Relief).

The ratepayer must not be an organisation that could receive relief as a non-profit making organisation or as a sports club or similar and the premises and organisation must be of significant benefit to residents of the island.

The premises and organisation must relieve us of providing similar facilities. 

The ratepayer must:

  • occupy the premises (no discretionary rate relief will be granted for unoccupied premises)  
  • provide facilities to certain priority groups such as elderly, disabled, minority groups, disadvantaged groups     
  • provide significant employment opportunities to residents on the island or provide the residents of the Island with such services, opportunities or facilities that cannot be obtained locally or are not provided locally by another organisation   
  • demonstrate that assistance (provided by the discretionary relief) will be for a short time only and that any business / operation is financially viable in the medium and long term
  • show that the organisation will comply with all legislative requirements and operate in an ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner at all times

Apply for Localism Rate Relief

Section 44A relief

Where part of a property is unoccupied for a short time, the Council can ask the Valuation Officer to apportion the Rateable Value of the property between the occupied and unoccupied parts.  The empty part will receive complete exemption for three months (or six for an industrial property). 

After the initial rate-free period expires the occupied business rate will apply to the whole property.  If you wish to apply for part unoccupied rates please send an A4 plan of the property as soon as the area has been cleared highlighting the “empty” areas for which relief is requested to the Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates).

Apply for Section 44A Relief


In very exceptional circumstances the council may remit payment of rates where it is satisfied that the ratepayer would sustain hardship if it did not do so and it is reasonable for it to do so having regard to the interests of its council taxpayers.

Qualifying criteria for Hardship Relief

Hardship Relief may be awarded to a limited company as well as to an individual, or groups of individuals in the case of partnerships. A ratepayer may make application for Hardship Relief whether they are subject to either occupied rates or empty property rates. All relevant factors affecting the ability of a business to meet its liability for rates should be taken into account. The 'interests' of council tax payers may go wider than direct financial interests. For example, where employment prospects in the area would be badly affected by a company going out of business, or where the amenities of an area would be severely affected, for instance, by the closure of the only shop in a village. In order for the council to consider granting hardship relief, an application must be made in writing, including copies of fully audited accounts.

View and download application forms for:

Properties in disrepair

Generally disrepair does not affect the rateable value of properties.  The rating system normally treats properties as being in a reasonable state of repair, however there are exceptions. A property might be in disrepair because:

  • it has fallen into disrepair over time
  • it has been damaged 
  • it has been vandalised 
  • there has been a fire or a flood

If work is being undertaken to repair a property and it would be considered economically reasonable then the property is treated as already being in reasonable repair for rating purposes. Depending on the extent of the work being undertaken to improve, extend or enhance a property, it may be that the valuation can be reduced to nil, whilst the works are underway, however the work must be much more than repairs. A reduction will usually be appropriate only when the works are to create a materially different property to the one that currently exists and at the point where the cost to restore the property to its original use is no longer economic in relation to its rateable value. You should contact the Valuation Office as soon as possible and provide all the evidence which supports your view that the property is in a state of substantial disrepair so that the valuation officer can investigate the situation.  An inspection by the valuation officer may be required.

More information about Repair and rateable value from GOV.UK

For more information visit the Valuation Office Agency website, or telephone 03000 501 501.

Heat Network Relief

What is Heat Network Relief?

The Government announced a 100% relief for eligible low-carbon heat networks. This was announced in its final report of the Business Rates Review. The report was published in October 2021. Networks need to have their own rating assessment from 1 April 2023. The relief is for those networks generating from a low carbon source. This is to ensure the policy supports decarbonisation.

Heat networks take heat of cooling from a central source(s). They deliver heat to a variety of different customers:

  • public buildings
  • shops
  • offices
  • hospitals
  • universities
  • homes

By supplying multiple buildings, they avoid the need for individual boilers or electric heaters. Heat networks have the potential to:

  • reduce bills
  • support local regeneration
  • be a cost-effective way of reducing carbon emissions from heating.

Heat networks play an important role in decarbonizing heat. They support delivery of net zero commitments. They are able to unlock otherwise inaccessible large-scale renewable and recovered heat sources. Examples are:

  • waste heat
  • heat from rivers
  • heat from mines

Is my business or property eligible for Heat Network Relief?

This relief is administered under the local powers discount. This is found in Section 47 of the local Government Finance Act 1988. To be eligible:

  • the property must be wholly or mainly used for the purposes of a heat network
  • the heat is expected to be generated from a low carbon source over the next 12 months
  • this is irrespective of whether the source is located on the property or on a different property
  • this is subject to Subsidy Control limits set by the government

How do I apply for Heat Network Relief?

There is no application form for this relief. To apply write to the Business Rates team and include:

  • full details of why your business should be considered for this local discount
  • provide all information you think is relevant to support your application
  • include your contact details.

For the relief to be granted, the Council must make a decision within 6 months of the end of the financial year.