Improvement relief

From 1 April 2024, improvement relief will assist businesses who have invested in their property.

It provides relief from higher Business Rate bills as a result of certain improvements having been made to your property.

The relief will last for 12 months from when the works were completed, which must have been on or after 1 April 2024.

You do not need to apply for improvement relief.  The Valuation Office Agency will automatically consider it when they are advised of any changes to your property. 

Bedford Borough Council will apply the relief to your Business Rate account if you are eligible and notify you.


To qualify for the relief, you must:

  • have had qualifying works carried out at the property, and 
  • have occupied the property during and after the improvement works. You cannot pass on your improvement relief to anybody else.

Qualifying works 

  • That increase the size of a building or the internal useable space within an assessment.
  • The addition of insulation or new lining to a previously uninsulated industrial property.
  • An extension to the property.
  • Removal of a structural wall that increases the properties rateable value.
  • An addition of a structural mezzanine floor for retail usage . 

Non-qualifying works

  • A new building that results in a new rating assessment.
  • A change of use eg changing a shop to a bar.
  • Redevelopment scheme that results in a property being taken out of rating. 
  • The addition of Land to an existing property.
  • Repair works.

The Valuation Office Agency will advise if any improvements made to your property qualify for relief by sending you and Bedford Borough Council a certificate.

Bedford Borough Council will ensure you meet the “Occupation” qualifying criteria and apply the relief to your Business Rate account.

See further information about improvement relief on GOV.UK.