Retail, hospitality and leisure relief scheme 2024/2025

At the autumn statement, the Chancellor confirmed that the business rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties will continue for 2024/2025. The relief is to support the businesses that make our high streets and town centres a success and to help them evolve and adapt to changing consumer demands. The scheme will give eligible, occupied properties 75 per cent relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

2024/2025 Retail, hospitality and leisure business rates relief scheme details and criteria.

To discuss your businesses eligibility please contact the business rates team on 01242 264255 or email [email protected]

The cash cap and subsidy control

In line with the conditions set by the government, a ratepayer may only claim up to £110,000 of support under the 2024/25 Retail, hospitality and leisure relief scheme for all of their eligible hereditaments. This cash cap applies at a group company level (so holding companies and subsidiaries cannot claim up to the cash cap for each company) and also to organisations which, although not a company, have such an interest in a company that they would, if they were a company, result in its being the holding company.

Furthermore, the Retail, hospitality and leisure relief scheme is subject to the Minimal Financial Assistance limits under the Subsidy Control Act. This means no recipient can receive over £315,000 over a three-year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years). Covid business grants received from local government and any other subsidy claimed under the Minimal Financial Assistance or Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit over the three-year period should be counted.

Therefore, to claim the Retail, hospitality and leisure relief you must not have exceeded either the £110,000 cash cap for 2024/25 or the Minimal Financial Assistance limit of £315,000 over three years (including 2024/25).

Find further details of the cash cap and subsidy control on GOV.UK.

Improvement relief

Improvement relief will support businesses wishing to invest in their property. It will ensure that no ratepayer will face higher business rate bills for 12 months as a result of qualifying improvements to a property they occupy.

The improvement works you make must: 

  • be completed on or after 1 April 2024 and before 1 April 2028
  • increase the rateable value (RV) of your property
  • be qualifying improvement works

If a property is empty following the date that the improvement works commenced, it will lose entitlement to improvement relief. 

Two conditions must be met to be eligible for relief:

  • qualifying works condition: the works must either increase the building’s area, enhance its physical condition, or introduce rateable plant and machinery to the hereditament. Notably, newly constructed, or refurbished hereditaments (that exited the rating list during the works) won’t qualify, and a mere change of use or the addition of land is also excluded from eligibility
  • occupation condition: there must be continuous occupancy by the same ratepayer since the qualifying works began. This prevents the support from being redirected to landlords, developers, or businesses that have merely inherited improvements from a previous occupier

The relief is applied by calculating the chargeable amount of business rates for the relevant property as if the rateable value in the list for the day concerned is reduced by the increase in rateable value attributable to the eligible improvement works. This strategic approach ensures that businesses and ratepayers can realise the advantages of their improvements before facing an increased business rates bill.

How to get improvement relief

  • You do not need to apply for improvement relief. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) will be told if you’ve made an improvement to your property and will decide if you qualify for improvement relief
  • The council will be notified of the property's new ratable value, how much relief you are receiving and when the relief ends
  • If you meet the necessary conditions, 100 per cent relief is awarded on the rateable value that the VOA certify.  You'll get the relief for one year