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Business Rates - Rural Rate Relief

Government legislation provides that certain properties in a rural settlement can receive help with their Business Rates.

A rural settlement is defined as a settlement with a population of no more than 3,000, which is wholly or partly within a Council's area.

We have identified seven Rural Settlements that currently meet all the criteria. They are Sefton Parish, Ince Blundell, Thornton, Hightown, Little Crosby, Lunt, and Homer Green. We have also identified properties eligible within those areas that qualify for Mandatory relief of 100% (previously 50%). This will be shown on your demand if you qualify. If relief is not shown on your rates demand and you think that we should have awarded you Mandatory Relief please contact the Business Rates Section on 0151 934 4360.

The Council must give 100% (previously 50%) relief to the following that are situated in a rural settlement:

  • Post Office - where it is the only Post Office in the settlement and has a rateable value of £8,500 or less.
  • General Store - where it is the only General Store in the settlement and has a rateable value of £8,500 or less.
  • All Food Store - Where they have a rateable value of £8,500 or less
  • Public House - where it is the only Public House in the settlement and has a rateable value of £12,500 or less
  • Petrol Filling Station - where it is the only Petrol Filling Station in the settlement and has a rateable value of £12,500 or less


Definition of a General Store

For the purposes of Rural Rate Relief, “General Store” means a business or trade which wholly or mainly sells both food for human consumption (other than confectionery) and general household goods.

Where there are two or more General Stores within the same Rural Settlement, neither will qualify for Mandatory Relief on that basis, if one of them functions as a Post Office or a Food Shop relief may be claimed independently on that ground. 

Both a General Store and a Post Office in the same Rural Settlement will qualify for Mandatory Relief, provided that they both meet the criteria. 

Although a General Store or a Post Office may not meet the criteria for Mandatory Relief, they may still be eligible to apply for Discretionary Relief.


Definition of a Public House

For the purposes of Rural Rate Relief, “Public House” means any premises as defined in the Licensing Act 2003 which has a premises licence authorising sale by retail of alcohol for consumption on the premises. In addition the premises must be used principally for retail sales of alcohol to members of the public for consumption on the premises, and sales must not be subject to the condition that buyers reside at or consume food on the premises.


Definition of a Petrol Filling Station

For the purposes of Rural Rate Relief, “Petrol Filling Station” means premises where petrol or other automotive fuels are sold retail to the general public for fuelling motor vehicles intended or adapted for use on roads


Definition of a Food Shop

For the purpose of Rural Rate Relief, “Food Shop” means a trade or business consisting wholly or mainly of the sale by retail of food for human consumption (excluding confectionery and catering – in this context catering means any supply of food for consumption on the premises on which it is supplied and any supply of hot food for consumption off the premises). Thus, this definition may also include shops which sell mainly household foods and which may partly also sell hot take away food or food consumed on the premises.   But shops whose main business is a restaurant, tearoom, take-away, or confectionery sales are not Food Shops and so will not qualify for Mandatory Relief.

Last Updated on Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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