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Business rates relief

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Home   Business   Business rates   Business rates relief

Business rates relief

Find out how we can help you pay your business rates bill.

Small business bonus scheme

The scheme provides relief to businesses with properties in Scotland with a combined rateable value of £35,000 or less.

The amount of relief for 2017/18
Combined rateable value (RV) of all your business properties in ScotlandAmount of relief
Up to £15,000 100% (ie no rates payable)
£15,001 to £18,000 25%
£18,001 to £35,000 25% on each individual property with a rateable value not exceeding £18,000*
The amount of relief available prior to 2017/18
Combined rateable value (RV) of all your business properties in ScotlandAmount of relief
Up to £10,000 100% (ie no rates payable)
£10,001 to £12,000 50%
£12,001 to £18,000 25%
£18,001 to £35,000 25% on each individual property with a rateable value not exceeding £18,000*

*This will allow a business with 2 or more properties with a cumulative rateable value up to £35,000 to qualify for relief of 25% on individual properties with a RV up to £18,000.

How to apply

Complete and return a Small Business Bonus Application Form (Word, 38kb).

Empty property relief

Industrial properties

100% Empty Property Relief

For a maximum of 6 months from the date when the property became vacant. 

90% Empty Property Rate

After 6 months, charged as a percentage of the rate that would apply if the premises were occupied.

All other properties

50% Empty Property Relief

For a maximum of 3 months from the date when the property became vacant. 

90% Empty Property Rate

After 3 months, charged as a percentage of the rate that would apply if the premises were occupied.

Please note: the 90% rate does not apply to the following type of properties:

  • rateable value less than £1,700
  • listed building, ancient monument or property with a preservation order
  • prohibited by Law from occupation (e.g. a Building Warrant has been issued)
  • under compulsory purchase order
  • unoccupied due to death or insolvency

How to apply

Complete and return an Empty Property Relief Form (Word, 76kb).

Fresh start relief

If you occupy a property which has been awarded Empty Property Relief, for at least 12 months prior to your becoming liable for Business Rates and occupying the property, you can claim a discount of 50% for a period of 12 months from the date of occupation.

Properties must be listed as either; a shop, an office, a hotel, a public house or a restaurant with a rateable value of £65,000 or less.

Please contact us to see if your property qualifies.

Part occupied property

If you have a property which is only partly occupied for a short period of time then you can apply for part-occupied property relief.

If your property is an industrial property, the unoccupied area of the property must be unoccupied for 1 to 6 months for you to be eligible.

For any other property, the unoccupied area of the property must be unoccupied for 1 to 3 months for you to be eligible.

The maximum period of relief which can be awarded is 12 months in total for the same ratepayer. This 12 month period may consist of several separate claims over different financial years.

How to apply

Complete and return a Part-occupied Property Relief Form (Word, 47kb) along with a plan of the property showing the unoccupied area.

Charity relief

Registered charities (or trustees for a charity that use its business premises wholly or mainly for charity purposes) may be eligible for both Mandatory and Discretionary business rates relief of up to 100% (80% mandatory and 20% discretionary relief).

To apply for this reduction, complete and return a Mandatory Rates Relief Application Form (Word, 56kb).

Non-registered charities and other unlicensed organisations and clubs that are: established not for profit, have an equal opportunities policy in place, and are run for social benefit ie Art Clubs, Sports, and Book Clubs, may be eligible to receive between 20% and 100% Discretionary business rates relief.

How to apply

Complete and return a Discretionary Rates Relief Application Form (Word, 67kb).

Licensed sports clubs

For any sports club in North Ayrshire to be considered for rate relief it must:

  • have an equal opportunities policy in place
  • be registered with the controlling body for clubs of that type
  • be a sport recognised by the Scottish Sports Council

Licensed clubs that meet these criteria are entitled to receive 50% Discretionary business rate relief. If your turnover is less than £30,000 per year you'll receive an additional 10% relief.

Sports clubs registered with the Inland Revenue as Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) are entitled to receive 80% Mandatory business rate relief. If your turnover is less than £30,000 per year you'll be entitled to relief of corporation tax as well. For information about registering as a CASC, conditions of this scheme and the benefits available, visit the Inland Revenue website.

To apply for this reduction, complete and return a Licensed Sports Relief Application Form (Word, 59kb).

Rural relief

50% Mandatory relief can be awarded to post offices, general stores, petrol stations, small hotels and public houses in a rural community of less than 3,000 people.

To qualify as a post office:

  • rateable value must be £8,500 or less
  • the property must be used wholly or partly as a Post Office
  • the Post Office must be the only one in the designated rural community

To qualify as a general store:

  • rateable value must be £8,500 or less
  • the ratepayer must be involved wholly or mainly in the retail sale of food and general household goods
  • the general store must be the only one in the designated rural community

To qualify as a petrol filling station, small hotel or public house:

  • rateable value must be £12,750 or less

We have discretionary powers to top-up this relief to 100% for these businesses and for schools, village halls, car parks, public conveniences and other subjects which:

  • provide a service that benefits the community
  • have a rateable value of £17,000 or less

How to apply

Complete and return a Rural Relief Application Form (Word, 34kb).

Disabled relief

Relief of business rates can be granted for an organisation that provides training, welfare or care for disabled persons. To qualify for relief the premises must be used for 1 of the following:

  • the provision of residential accommodation for the care or aftercare of disabled persons or people suffering from illness
  • the provision of training or activity facilities for disabled persons or persons suffering from illness
  • the provision of Welfare Services for disabled persons
  • the provision of employment or work facilities for disabled persons
  • the provision of sheltered employment by a local authority
  • ancillary purposes (eg office space, laundry, canteen) whose main purpose is to support premises which provide care to disabled people and already receives disabled relief

Please note: Institutions whose main purpose is to provide medical treatment are not eligible. For example: hospitals, doctor surgeries, dental surgeries.

How to apply

Complete and return a Disabled Rates Relief application form (Word, 82kb).

Please note: If you're applying for disabled rates relief for a nursing home, we'll require details of the number and type of staff in the nursing home. It's not essential for the purposes of this application that your staff have professional nursing or medical qualifications.

Renewable energy relief

This scheme provides business rates discounts of up to 100% to renewable energy providers solely concerned with the production of heat and/or power. To be eligible for this relief, you must produce heat and/or power from one of the following sources:

  • biomass
  • biofuels
  • fuel cells
  • photovoltaics
  • water - including waves and tides but excluding production from the pumped storage of water
  • wind
  • solar power
  • geothermal sources

This relief is granted under 'de minimis' State Aid regulations. So, if your business has received more than 200,000 Euros of public sector assistance (eg lottery funding, tax exemptions including other rate reliefs) over a rolling 3 year period, you may not qualify for renewable energy relief. If you think you've received more than, or close to, 200,000 Euros in the last 3 years then please attach details of these funds with your application.

How much help can I get?

To qualify for relief, an arrangement must be in place to give, at least, 15% of annual profit to a community organisation in return for investment (or, failing that, so much of the annual profit as is attributable to 1 megawatt of the total installed capacity).

If conditions are met, the amount of relief awarded depends on the combined rateable value of all your business properties in Scotland.

The level of relief available depends on whether the property was entered onto the Valuation Roll before, or after, 1 April 2016.

Prior to 1 April 2016
Combined Rateable Value of all your business properties in ScotlandAmount of relief
up to £145K 100% (ie no rates payable)
up to £430K 50%
between £430K and 860K 25%
between £860K and £4m 10%
greater than 4m 2.5%
From 1 April 2016 onwards
Combined Rateable Value of all your business properties in ScotlandAmount of relief
up to £500K 10%
over £500K 1.5%

How to apply

Complete and return a Renewable Energy Generation Relief Scheme Application Form (Word, 61kb).

If there are any changes in your circumstances which would affect your eligibility for this scheme, you must contact us as soon as possible.   

Contact Business rates

Email

businessrates@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

Telephone

01294 310121