Skip to content
  1. Do it online
  2. Login
  3. Have your say
  4. My Durham

The leaders of the seven local councils, the North of Tyne Mayor and Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner encourage people to work together to move out of Tier 3 as quickly and as safely as possible.

Rate relief

Small businesses, charities and businesses in some rural areas can apply to pay lower rates.

Help for retail properties until March 2021

From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021, you may be entitled to 33% discount on your business rates bill if your business property is used primarily for retail. Your property needs to be in use and have a rateable value of less than £51,000. Retail properties include shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking venues.

This discount is subject to EU law on State Aid and a declaration is required that by accepting the discount you will not exceed the De Minimis State Aid limit.

Relief for newspapers

If your office space is occupied by local newspaper publishers, you may be entitled to rate relief.

Contact us for more information.

Local discounts

We have a general power to grant discretionary local discounts. 

Contact us for more information.

Partly occupied relief

We have discretionary powers to grant relief on a property that is partly unoccupied/not fully occupied, if this is only for a 'short period of time'. Partially occupied rate relief is not intended for when part of a property is temporarily not used, it is for where there are practical difficulties in occupying or vacating all of a property.

Icon for pdf Application for partly occupied rate relief under Section 44a (PDF, 106.7kb)

Local Discretionary Relief scheme (Spring 2017 budget)

The government is providing a £300 million discretionary fund for businesses across the country facing steep increases in business rates due to the 2017 revaluation. We are now able to award this, details of of this scheme are included in our Icon for pdf Discretionary Rate Relief Policy (PDF, 443.6kb) . If you are eligible we will contact you shortly about applying for this relief.

Contact us if you have not heard from us, and you think you are eligible.

Extended relief for small businesses (Spring 2017 budget)

If your business is facing a large increase in business rates, because you can no longer claim small business or rural rate relief (due to a change in your business's rateable value), you may qualify for this relief. If you are eligible you do not need to do anything as we will send you a revised demand once this relief has been awarded.

Contact us  if you have not heard from us, and you think you are eligible.

Small business rate relief

You can get this relief if you only occupy one business property in England and that property has a rateable value (RV) of less than £15,000. The relief does not apply to empty properties.

You will get 100% relief for a property with an RV of £12,000 or less, meaning you will not pay any business rates for it. For properties with an RV of between £12,001 and £14,999, the rate of relief is awarded on a sliding scale decreasing from 100% to 0%. Here are some examples:

maximum Rateable ValuePercentage reduction

If you take on a second property you can still keep the relief on your original property for a year.

If you occupy more than one property, you can get small business rate relief as long as the RV of each of your other properties is less than £2,900 and the total RV of all the properties (including the main one) is less than £20,000. The relief is applied to the main property.

If your property has an RV below £51,000, your business rates will be calculated using the small business multiplier instead of the standard one. This is the case even if you have multiple properties. The higher multiplier will apply if you are liable to pay rates on an empty property or if you are in receipt of a mandatory relief. Details of the small business multiplier and how your business rates are calculated are on our What are business rates? page (under 'Non domestic rating multiplier').

Apply for small business rate relief

Relief for charities, community amateur sports clubs and other non-profit making organisations

Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs can be entitled to 80% relief if they occupy the property and it's mostly used for that purpose. We also have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Contact us for more information.

Apply rate relief for charities, community amateur sports clubs and other non-profit making organisations

Rate relief for businesses in rural areas

Businesses in rural areas (with a population less than 3000) may be entitled to a 100% reduction if they occupy:

  • the only general store, post office or food shop with a rateable value under £8,500
  • the only public house or petrol station with a rateable value under £12,500

Icon for pdf List of areas classed as rural (PDF, 93.6kb)

Apply for rural rate relief

Contact us
Business rates
03000 268 997
Our address is:
  • Revenues and Benefits
  • PO Box 238
  • Stanley
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH8 1FP
Related information
Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Print this page