Home > Business > Business Rates > Rate relief > Rural rate relief

Rural rate relief

The rural rate relief scheme was introduced to help protect the last retail outlets and similar services in rural areas with a population of less than 3,000.

Under the scheme, the following businesses in certain rural areas are entitled to 100% rate relief:

  • the only food shop, general store or Post Office with a rateable value of less than £8,500
  • the only public house or petrol station with a rateable value of up to £12,500.

The property must be occupied.

It is possible for both a general store and a Post Office in the same rural area to qualify for this relief, if they both meet the conditions.

To qualify for this relief, a general store must mainly sell both food and general household goods. Only part of the property need be used as a general store. For example, the business of a general store and another business could be carried out side-by-side in one premises. If there are two general stores in the same rural area, neither will qualify for this relief; although, if either functions as a Post Office, relief for this can be claimed separately.

If you don't meet the above conditions, we may still award discretionary relief of up to 100% for a property in a rural area if:

  • the property has a rateable value of £16,500 or less
  • the property is used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community; and
  • it would be reasonable for us to award relief, considering the interests of the Council Tax payers in the district. 

Apply for rural rate relief »