Retail, hospitality and leisure relief scheme 2023/2024

At the Autumn statement, the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new business rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties for 2023/24. The relief is to support the businesses that make our high streets and town centres a success and help them to evolve and adapt to changing consumer demands. The 2023/24 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with 75% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

The scheme details and criteria can be found by visiting the GOV.UK business rate relief 2023/24 web pages.

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

The cash cap and subsidy control

Under the cash cap, no ratepayer can in any circumstances exceed the £110,000 cash cap across all of their hereditaments in England. Where a ratepayer has a qualifying connection with another ratepayer then those ratepayers should be considered as one ratepayer for the purposes of the cash caps. A ratepayer shall be treated as having a qualifying connection with another:

  • where both ratepayers are companies, and
  • one is a subsidiary of the other,
  • or both are subsidiaries of the same company;
  • where only one ratepayer is a company, the other ratepayer (the “second ratepayer”) has such an interest in that company as would, if the second ratepayer were a company, result in its being the holding company of the other.

Furthermore, the retail hospitality and leisure scheme is likely to amount to subsidy. Any relief provided by local authorities under this scheme will need to comply with the UK’s domestic and international subsidy control obligations (See the BEIS guidance for public authorities which contains guidance and information for the new UK subsidy control regime, which will commence on 4 January 2023.

To the extent that a local authority is seeking to provide relief that falls below the Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) thresholds, the Subsidy Control Act allows an economic actor (e.g. a holding company and its subsidiaries) to receive up to £315,000 in a 3-year period (consisting of the 2023/24 year and the 2 previous financial years). MFA subsidies cumulate with each other and with other subsidies that fall within the category of ‘Minimal or SPEI financial assistance’. Expanded Retail Discount granted in 2021/22 does not count towards the £315,000 allowance but BEIS COVID-19 business grants and any other subsidies claimed under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement should be counted.