Retail hospitality and leisure relief

The Government announced in the Autumn Statement on 22 November 2023 an extension of new Business Rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties for the 2024/25 financial year.

Called the Business Rates Relief: 2024/25 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Scheme, eligible businesses will receive 75% relief for the period 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025.

There will be a cap on the amount of relief any one business can receive across all of its assessments.

  • £110,000 per business for other eligible properties

Who will qualify?

Assessments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Who will not qualify?

Assessments that are wholly or mainly being used for the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Financial services (eg banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers, betting shops).
  • Medical services (eg vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors).
  • Professional services (eg solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, employment agencies, estate agents, letting agents).
  • Post office sorting offices.
  • Assessments that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

The above list is not exhaustive and it is up to the local authority to determine if any additional properties are being used for similar non qualifying uses.

Subsidy control

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme is subject to the Minimal Financial Assistance limits under the Subsidy Control Act. This means no recipient can receive over £315,000 over a 3-year period (consisting of the current financial year and the 2 previous financial years). Covid business grants received from local government and any other subsidy claimed under the Minimal Financial Assistance or 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 2024/25 or the Minimal Financial Assistance limit of £315,000 over 3 years (including 2024/25).

Bedford Borough Council will have awarded the relief to those assessments it deems to qualify. If you haven’t been awarded the relief but think you may qualify, please contact  the business rates team.

If you have received the relief but do not meet the relevant cash cap or subsidy controls, you can opt out of the scheme and must tell the business rates team as soon as possible.

How to apply or opt out of the scheme 

The easiest and quickest way to apply or opt out of the scheme is to do it online. 

You can register for an online account and upload your application or contact us by using your citizen account. Alternatively, you can upload your application without registration through the 'upload a document online' facility below.

Register for a Business Rates account 

You can now register for an online Business Rates account which will allow you to:

  • view your up to date account information
  • check your balance, payments and bills
  • switch to paperless billing
  • update your contact details

to register for an online account you will need your account number as it appears on your Business Rates bill or recovery notice, plus one of the items from the following:

  • The postcode for your business property
  • The last 3 digits of a telephone number you have already registered with us
  • The last 3 digits of your bank account number if you pay by Direct Debit

You can also use the registration process to let us know if you would like to switch to paperless billing.

Register for an online Business Rates account

Sign in to your online Business Rates account 

If you already have an online Business Rates account you can sign in here:

Sign in to your online Business Rates account

Upload a document online

You can now upload documents online (eg lease agreement) relating to your Business Rates. You will need to provide your property postcode, your Business Rates account number as it appears on your latest bill or recovery notice and a way to contact you (phone number or email address). 

Upload a document online