Back in Business Rate Support

Closes 31 Mar 2025

Opened 15 May 2024


The Back in Business rate support scheme has been created to incentivise business ratepayers to consider occupying retail premises which are currently unoccupied when looking for business premises. The rate relief can be applied from 1 April 2024.

The scheme will bring long term unoccupied retail properties back into use, helping to regenerate our high streets and core shopping areas. This information linked below has been developed to help answer some of your questions.

More Information about the scheme

Who will be eligible for the scheme?

Any business ratepayer who moves into premises on or after 1 April 2024, which were previously used for retail purposes and have been unoccupied for 12 months or more, will be eligible.

What about new properties which have never been occupied?

This type of property will be treated as being unoccupied from the date of the Completion Notice issued by Land & Property Services (LPS) or from the date of entry into the Valuation List, whichever is more beneficial.

How much support will I receive under the scheme?

The scheme will allow for 50% rate reduction for up to two years once a long term unoccupied retail premises becomes occupied.

Information about subsidies

Applicants must be aware that Back In Business Rate Relief does not constitute a subsidy within the scope of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, however if it is subsequently deemed to be an illegal subsidy by a UK Court, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal or a decision of the UK-EU Trade Specialised Committee on Level Playing Field for Open and Fair Competition and Sustainable Development it may be recoverable (see TCA Article 370).

If I rent the property from a landlord am I still entitled to the allowance?

Yes. Where the property is rented, and the landlord is liable to pay the rates, the landlord must pass the benefit onto the tenants.

Will I be entitled to any other rate relief or exemptions while receiving Back in Business Rate Support?

No. You are not entitled to any other occupied reliefs or exemptions during the period which Back in Business Rate Support has been awarded. 

Do I have to use the property for retail purposes after occupation?

No, the reduction will apply whether or not the property is used for retail purposes on first occupation after it has been unoccupied for at least 12 months.

How do I apply?

The business ratepayer can apply, an online application form needs to be completed which will be submitted to LPS along with any supporting documentation required. Ensure the application form is fully completed, if LPS needs to seek further information it may delay the processing of the application. When required LPS will contact the landlord to confirm the details on the application.

Back in Business rate support application form guidance notes

  • this application can be made by the owner of the business or the landlord, if they are the ratepayer
  • all necessary information and supporting evidence must be provided, if it is not the application will be rejected

Back in business


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