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There are a range of reductions that businesses may qualify for. You can also find further information about Business Rates on the gov.uk website. Don't forget: if you move into, out of, or within Worcester you need to let us know as this will affect your bill. Please contact us with the details.

Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

The Government recently announced a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion.

The fund will be available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but do not qualify for existing support linked to business rates.

Support will be provided as a discount on your Business Rates bill – known as Business Rates Relief – for the financial year 2021/22 rather than a cash grant.

The scheme is aimed at businesses affected by the pandemic that have been unable to adapt.

To apply for this relief after 18 March 2022 please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the title ‘CARF Application Request’.

Review Worcester City Council's pdf CARF Guidelines (124 KB) .

This scheme will close for all applications on 30 June 2022.

Hardship Relief

Businesses may be entitled to a reduction from rates if they are suffering hardship and they can show that the local community would suffer a loss if the business was to close.  

As each case needs to be determined on its merits you should contact us for further information.

Retail Rate Relief 2022/2023

At the Budget on 27 October 2021, the Chancellor announced that eligible ratepayers will receive 50% relief on their business rates bills for the year 2022/23 up to a maximum cash cap of £110,000.

Relief will be provided to eligible occupied retail, hospitality and leisure properties in 2022/23.

In line with the conditions set by the government, a ratepayer may only claim up to £110,000 of support under the 2022/23 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 that, although not a company, have such an interest in a company that they would, if they were a company, resulting in its being the holding company.

Furthermore, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme is subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). The subsidies chapter within the TCA only applies to subsidies over the value of approximately £343,000 per beneficiary over a 3-year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years) (the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit). Extended Retail Discounts granted in 2020/21 or 2021/22 do not count towards the limit. Covid business grants received from local government and any other subsidy claimed under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit over the 3 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 2022/23 or the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit of £343,000 over 3 years (including 2022/23).

If you have exceeded the cash cap limit or no longer wish to claim retail relief or if you have any queries in regards to this please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 03004 560 560.

Charitable and Discretionary Relief

Registered charities, charitable organisations and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC's) are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Relief is given at 80 per cent of the bill. We have the discretion to give a further 20% relief on the remaining bill depending upon what the premises are used for.

We also have the discretion to give up to 50% discretionary relief on all or part of any rate bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making organisations for example; sports clubs, societies, village halls and youth associations.

If you wish to apply please contact us for an application form or click on the link below.

pdf Mandatory and Discretionary Rate Relief application form. (24 KB)

N.B. If your annual turnover is in excess of £250,000 or your surplus is in excess of £25,000 then you will automatically be disqualified.

You can get further information on Rate Relief by visiting the gov.uk website.

Empty property

Business Rates will not be payable for the first three months that a property is empty.  After the 3-month period rates will be charged at 100% unless the property is exempt e.g. Listed buildings, empty properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs (NB. Industrial property will be exempt for 6 months), or has a rateable value of less than the following limits (see table below):-

pto 31 March 2009 RV 2,200
1 April 2009 - 31 March 2010   RV 15,000
1 April 2010 - 31 March 2011 RV 18,000
From 1 April 2011 - 31 March 2017 RV 2,600
From 1 April 2017 RV 2,900

Please note - due to the lowering of the Rateable Value limit from 18,000 to 2,600 with effect from 01 April 2011, you may now be subject to an empty business rate charge.    

In brief, office and retail premises receive 100% relief for the first three months, and industrial and warehouse premises will receive 100% for the first six months, from when the property becomes empty. All rate relief for these properties will end after this time and Non Domestic Rates will be chargeable in full.

You can find more information about business rates at the gov.uk website.

Partially empty property

If only part of the premises is being used it may be possible to reduce the amount of business rates that are paid.

If you wish to claim this relief you should contact us immediately and we will arrange for one of our Visiting Officers to visit your premises.

The relief would stop if:

  • the unoccupied part becomes occupied
  • the property becomes completely unoccupied

Rural Rate Relief

Businesses in a Rural Settlement could qualify for Mandatory or Discretionary Rural Rate Relief on their Non-Domestic Rates bill.

A Rural Settlement is a defined area with a population of less than 3000.

To qualify for Mandatory Relief, the business premises must be the only Post Office, general store, or petrol filling station in the rural settlement. Food shops may also qualify for relief and do not need to be the only food shop in the rural settlement. See below for more details.

In addition to Mandatory Relief for those businesses mentioned above, we are able to grant Discretionary Relief. Other types of businesses in a rural settlement may also qualify for just the Discretionary Relief.  In all cases, the business must be used for purposes that are of benefit to the local community.  See below for more details.

A list of the areas that are designated Rural Settlements is available on our website or at our Customer Service Centre at:

Customer Service Centre
89 The High Street
Worcester
WR1 2EY

Mandatory Rural Rate Relief

To qualify for 100% Mandatory Rural Rate Relief, your business premises must:

  1. be within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
  2. have a rateable value of not more than £8,500 in the case of a Post Office, general store or food shop.
  3. have a rateable value of not more than £12,500 in the case of a petrol filling station.
  4. be used in whole or in part, as a general store, Post Office or both, or as a food shop or petrol filling station.
  5. be either the only general store, the only Post Office, the only petrol filling station in the rural settlement.

Please note: it is possible for both a general store and a Post Office in the same rural settlement to qualify for Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.

Please note: if you do not qualify for Mandatory Relief, you may still qualify for Discretionary Relief dependent on meeting certain criteria.

Discretionary Rural Rate Relief

We may grant up to 50% relief to any general store, food shop, Post Office or petrol filling station which does not qualifies for the Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.

A business can also apply for Discretionary Rural Rate Relief of 50% provided that it:

  1. is within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
  2. has a rateable value of less than £16,500.
  3. is used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community, and
  4. is reasonable for us to make such a decision having regard to the interests of persons liable to pay Council Tax set by it. 

To download an application form click on one of the links below.

If you would like more information please contact us.

Supporting Small Businesses Relief

In the 2017 Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced that a new scheme of relief would be made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of rural rate and small business rate relief due to the revaluation.

To support these ratepayers, the ‘Supporting Small Businesses’ relief will ensure that the increase per year is limited to the greater of:

  • a percentage increase of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% in 2017/18 to 2021/22 all plus inflation.  Unlike the transitional relief scheme, for the first year of the scheme the percentage increase is taken against the bill for 31 March 2017 after small business rate relief or rural rate relief; and
  • a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month).  This cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers paying nothing or very small amounts in 2016/17 after small business rate relief are brought into paying something

Ratepayers remain in the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme for either 5 years or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme. 

This relief has been automatically applied to eligible accounts and therefore there is no formal application process, however, for any further information regarding this relief, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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