Certain shops in rural settlements may be entitled to receive relief from rates where they provide a service to that settlement.

Mandatory Rate Relief for Village Shops

The Local Government and Rating Act 1997 introduced (from April 1998) a village shop and post office rate relief scheme.

The council can award 50% rate relief providing the rateable value is less than £5,000 from 1 April 1998, £6,000 from 1 April 2000, £7,000 from 1 April 2005, and £10,500 from 1 April 2010, and the village shop or post office is the only such outlet in a designated settlement with a population of less than 3,000.

The scheme was extended from 15 August 2001 to include all village shops that sell mainly food for human consumption, but not the provision of catering and confectionery, where the rateable value is less than £6,000 from 15 August 2001, £7,000 from 1 April 2005, and £8,500 from 1 April 2010, and where it is the only such outlet in a designated settlement with a population of less than 3,000.

The scheme (from 5 April 2001) also includes public houses and petrol filling stations. In order to qualify for 50% rate relief, the public house or petrol filling station must have a rateable value from 5 April 2001 of less than £9,000, from 1 April 2005 less than £10,500, from 1 April 2010 less than £12,500 and be the only such outlet in a designated settlement with a population of less than 3,000.

Discretionary Rate Relief for Village Shops

The Local Government and Rating Act 1997 and the Rating (Rural Shops) Act 2001 allow local authorities to consider applications for discretionary rate relief from businesses located in rural settlements and whose rateable value is £16,500 or less.

In the case of food shops, the rateable value must be less than £8,500. Before it can consider granting relief, the local authority must be satisfied that the business is used for purposes which are of the benefit to the local community, as well as having regard to the interests of its Council Tax payers.

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has also decided that it will take into consideration the following:

  • the number of persons employed who reside in the community
  • the degree of trade / custom with the local community
  • the nature of the business – it should be providing essential goods or services which are of a valuable contribution to the community
  • the proximity of businesses providing similar goods or services
  • if the closure of the business would adversely affect the elderly, disabled and those without independent means of transport
  • the financial position of the business

Neither mandatory or discretionary village shop rate relief may be awarded in respect of empty properties.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Revenues:

Last updated on 17/07/2018

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