Expanded Retail Business Rates Discount

20 Mar 2020

In the Budget, the Government announced a new Expanded Retail Discount scheme for occupied retail, leisure and hospitality premises. Under the scheme, eligible premises will receive a discount of up to 100% on their bill for 2020/21. The Government has released guidance for local authorities on the scheme as we await a launch.

Which properties will benefit from the Expanded Business Rate Retail Discount?

The Council has the discretion to discount business rate bills by up to 100% for the 2020/21 financial year for retail, leisure and hospitality premises.

The premises must be occupied and wholly or mainly used to sell goods, services or food and drink to visiting members of the public.

Qualifying businesses may include:

Premises used to sell goods to visiting members of the public:

  • Shops (for example, florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, hardware stores, newsagents, supermarkets)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post Offices
  • Garden centres
  • Furnishing shops / display rooms (for example, carpet shops, shops selling double glazing or garage doors)
  • Car / caravan show rooms
  • Second-hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale / hire)

Premises used to sell food and drink to visiting members of the public:

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars


Premises used to provide the following services to visiting members of the public:              

  • Hair and beauty services (for example, hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops etc.)
  • Shoe repairs / key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices, for example for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Betting shops
  • Launderettes
  • PC / TV / domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • DVD / video rentals
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire    
  • Estate and lettings agents

Premises which are being used as cinemas.

Premises that are being used as live music venues.

Premises that are being used for the provision of sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public:

  • Sports grounds and clubs
  • Museums and art galleries
  •  Nightclubs
  • Sport and leisure facilities
  • Theatres
  • Tourist attractions
  •  Gyms
  • Stately homes and historic houses

Premises that are being used for the assembly of visiting members of the public:

  • Public halls
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions
  • Bingo halls

Premises where the non-domestic part is being used for the provision of living accommodation as a business:

  • Hotels
  • Guest and Boarding Houses
  •  Holiday homes
  •  Caravan parks and sites

These lists are not exhaustive, and it would be impossible to list the many varied retail uses that exist. We will consider the retail discount for any businesses which are broadly similar to those listed above. Because Business Rate Retail Discount is discretionary, we may decide not to award it if doing so would be against our wider objectives for the local area.

Which properties will NOT benefit from Business Rate Retail Discount?

Premises which are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the Public, or those which are not mainly used for the qualifying purpose will not be eligible for the discount. The following list sets out the types of use which the Government does not consider to be retail use:


  • Financial services (for example, banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Medical services (for example, vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Casinos and gambling clubs
  • Post Office sorting offices


  • Professional services (for example, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents / financial advisers, tutors)
  • Other services (e.g employment agencies)


How To Apply

If you are already in receipt of Retail Discount you do not need to apply and needn't contact the Council further - the additional discount will be added automatically. However if you have not been in receipt of this discount previously but feel you may be eligible for this expanded retail discount please complete the online application form.

Additional Support for Businesses

Invest in Bath is co-ordinating support services to local businesses in light of the COVID19 public health situation. We will be sharing further information about targeted business support and financial assistance that is available as and when further schemes are announced. If you do have specific concerns, questions or needs at this time please contact us on info@investinbath.co.uk and the team will respond directly. 

For other Government Covid-19 Business Support initiatives please visit our Covid-19 Business Support Page.