Welsh Government recently announced a £23.6m package of additional funding across Wales to continue and expand the High Street Rates Relief Scheme to eligible ratepayers for 2019-20.
The enhanced scheme, fully funded by Welsh Government, will provide support of up to £2,500 towards Business Rates bills for retail properties with a rateable value of up to £50,000.
As well as increasing the level of support for retailers in town centres, the enhanced scheme will support retailers in other locations.
Ratepayers that occupy more than one property may be entitled to High Street and Retail Rates Relief, subject to State Aid limits.
Retail Relief will be applied to the net bill based on occupation as at 31st March 2019 (providing the same occupier continues to be in occupation on 1st April 2019) after all other reliefs, such as Small Business Rate Relief, have been awarded. So if the net liability for a property after all other reliefs is less than £2,500, the maximum level of retail rate relief will be capped at the net bill amount.
Eligibility for the relief will be calculated based on the circumstances of the property and ratepayer as at 1 April 2019.
Empty properties becoming occupied after 1 April 2019 will qualify for this relief.
If there is a change in occupier part way through the financial year, after relief has already been provided to the hereditament, the new occupier will qualify for the relief on a prop-rata basis.
It is considered that ‘retailers’ will be broadly defined as any occupying property falling within any one of three categories as listed below.
Properties that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public
• Shops (such as florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewelers, stationers, off-licences, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc)
• Post offices, furnishing shops or display rooms (such as carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
• Car or caravan showrooms
• Second hand car lots
• Petrol stations
• Garden centres
• Art galleries (where art is for sale or hire)
Properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public
• Hair and beauty services
• Shoe repairs or key cutting
• Travel agents
• Ticket offices, eg. for theatre
• Dry cleaners
• PC, TV or domestic appliance repair
• Funeral directors
• Photo processing
• DVD or video rentals
• Tool hire
• Car hire
• Estate and letting agents
Properties that are being used for the sale of food and/or drink to visiting members of the public
• Drive-through or drive-in restaurants
• Sandwich shops
• Coffee shops
• Wine bars
The list below sets out the type of uses that Welsh Government does not consider to be retail for the purpose of this relief and would not be deemed eligible.
Properties that that are being used wholly or mainly for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public
• Financial services (eg. banks, building societies, cash points, ATMs, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
• Medical services (eg. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
• Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisers, tutors)
• Post office sorting office
• Sports clubs
• Children’s play centres
• Day nurseries
• Outdoor activity centres
• Kennels and catteries
• Show homes and marketing suites
• Employment agencies
Those properties that are in receipt of 80% Mandatory Charitable Rate Relief are also not eligible for High Street and Retail Rate Relief.
To apply for this relief, please complete our online form.