Guide Business Rates reliefs and reductions information

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5. Local discretionary rate relief and Hardship relief

We may grant discretionary rate relief provided it is in the interests of the local Council Tax payers to do so.

When considering an application for rate relief the following factors will be taken into account:

  • That relief is for a temporary period
  • The significance of potential loss of employment in the area
  • The measurable impact on other businesses and the local community
  • Opportunities for new business growth, expansion and employment within the area
  • The positive effects on business cash flow and evidence of positive impact on future viability
  • Sufficient evidence of the likelihood of the recovery of the applicant’s business
  • The capacity of council intervention to secure further investment and retained and/or new employment opportunities
  • Reassurance of duration of retained employment and continued production/operation in the area
  • Uniqueness of service/commodity being provided within the community/district
  • Whether relief is for occupied or unoccupied rates
  • What proactive measures the business/organisation is taking to reduce overheads
  • Measures being taken to reduce their rate liability, for example occupying smaller premises, letting out parts of the building
  • Consideration will also be given to rate deferral, re-profiling of instalments, arrangements as an alternative method of support
  • Cost of funding relief and the constraints on council finances
  • Whether it is in the interests of Council Tax payers as a whole to give relief

Giving rate relief to a business/organisation must be balanced against whether this creates unfair market conditions to the detriment of others.  

It should also be recognised that one of the main overheads of any business is non-domestic rates and therefore it is reasonable to expect that businesses to have made provision to pay this.

We expect businesses to apply to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to have the rateable value reassessed before applying for this relief.

How to apply

Please email or write to:
Business Rates
East Devon District Council
Blackdown House
Border Road
Heathpark Industrial Estate
EX14 1EJ


  • The period and percentage of relief being sought
  • Reasons why relief should be given and how this meets our policy
  • Details of all other support/recovery measures the business/organisation is undertaking or receiving
  • Audited accounts
  • Business Plan including growth forecasts (to suggest that the council is helping an organisation/ business that is demonstrating potential to become sustainable)
  • Explanation as to how it meets the interests of the local Council Tax payer as a whole
  • Its declaration as to the amounts that it or any other organisation in its group has received under either the De minimis aid scheme and/or “notified scheme” and/or “block exemption scheme” (as prescribed by the EU) in the last three years.
  • Please declare the total subsidy amounts that your organisation or related group organisations have received over the last three years under either the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the UK’s continued membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and its agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures (ASCM) or any Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and confirm that this is within the thresholds allowed.

    For full detail on subsidies rules and limits please see Complying with the UK’s international obligations on subsidy control: guidance for public authorities - GOV.UK (

East Devon District Council's Local Discretionary Rate Relief policy