Other Reliefs

Supporting Small Business Relief

Some businesses have had an increase in Business Rates payable from 01 April 2023 due to an increase in Rateable Value following the 2023 Revaluation. This increase has removed or reduced the entitlement to Small Business Rate Relief for some businesses.

Supporting Small Business Relief was introduced in 2017 to support Ratepayers facing Business Rates increases due to the loss of some or all Small Business Rates Relief. From 1 April 2023 this relief caps the increase at £600 per year for any Business who has lost eligibility for some or all Small Business Rate Relief.

We have applied the relief to all eligible Business Rates accounts automatically. If you feel you should qualify for this relief but have not received a bill to advise that this has been applied to your account please contact us at businessrates@wigan.gov.uk.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme 2023/24 and 2024/25

From 1st April 2023, the 2023/24 retail, hospitality and leisure business rates relief scheme will provide occupied retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 75% relief up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business. This has also been extended for the financial year 2024/25

Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties up to the maximum £110,000 cash cap per business. No business rates payer should in any circumstances exceed this limit across all of their properties in England.


Your business could qualify for the award if it is an occupied non domestic rate properties that are wholly or mainly used as:

  • Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas or live music venues
  • For assembly or leisure, sports clubs, village halls, nightclubs, tourist attractions
  • Hotels, guesthouses, self-catering accommodation.

Find out more about the scheme on GOV.UK site (external link).

How it is awarded

Awards for 2024-25 will be made automatically, please check your bill. If you think you qualify and it has not been applied to your bill, please contact the business rates team.

We also withhold the relief where it is likely that the rate payer will breach the cash limit.

If you have received the award but are not eligible

You should notify us immediately if your business has automatically been awarded this relief but:

  • You believe that it will breach the £110,000 cash cap limit
  • Your business will exceed the Minimal Financial Assistance limit of £315,000 over 3 years (including 2024/25).

Improvement Relief

If you make certain improvements to your property, you may get relief from higher business rates bills.

You do not need to apply for improvement relief or do anything differently. If you meet the necessary requirements, your council will apply the relief to your bills.

You can find out more about which improvements are eligible by going to GOV.UK and searching ‘business rates reliefs’.

If you have questions about a certificate of qualifying works, please contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) at the email address on your certificate. Please note that the VOA cannot answer queries about the occupation condition or your business rates bill.

Customer question and answers

What is improvement relief?

Improvement relief supports businesses who have invested in their property. It provides relief from higher business rates bills, where the increase in your bill was  due to making certain improvements to your property. The relief lasts for 12 months from when the improvement works were completed.

Who is eligible for improvement relief? Do I need to apply for it?

You do not need to apply for improvement relief or do anything differently, your local council will apply the relief to your bills if you are eligible.

To be eligible for improvement relief, you must:

  • Have qualifying improvement works, and
  • Meet the occupation condition.

For more information, go to GOV.UK (external link).

How does improvement relief work?

You will receive a certificate from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) if you have qualifying works. The VOA will give the same information to your local council.

Your council will apply the relief and send you a revised bill if they are satisfied that you meet the occupation requirements. This means that you have occupied the property during and after the improvement works.

I have received a certificate from the VOA - What does this mean?

If you have received a certificate of qualifying works from the VOA, this means that you may be eligible for improvement relief.

Improvement relief provides relief from higher business rates bills, where the increase in your bill was due to making certain improvements to your property.

  • The VOA will send this information to your local council
  • Your local council will apply the relief to your business rates bill if you also meet the occupation condition.

I think my certificate for improvement relief is wrong. Who should I contact?

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) values qualifying works and issues certificates to ratepayers. There is no right of appeal against the certified values, however, you should let the VOA know if you think there is something wrong with your certificate. You can contact the VOA using the email address on your letter.

Where can I find out more information about improvement relief?

To find out more about improvement relief, visit GOV.UK (external link).

Subsidy control

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme is subject to the Minimal Financial Assistance limits under the Subsidy Control Act. This means no recipient can receive over £315,000 over a 3-year period (consisting of the current financial year and the 2 previous financial years). Extended Retail Discounts granted in 2021/22 do not count towards the limit. Covid business grants received from local government and any other subsidy claimed under the Minimal Financial Assistance or Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit over the 3-year period should be counted.

Therefore, to claim the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief you must not have exceeded either the £110,000 cash cap for 2024/25 or the Minimal Financial Assistance limit of £315,000 over 3 years (including 2024/25). View further details of the cash cap and subsidy control (external link).

The new UK subsidy control regime commenced from 4 January 2023. The new regime enables public authorities, including devolved administrations and local authorities, to deliver subsidies that are tailored for local needs. Public authorities giving subsidies must comply with the UK’s international subsidy control commitments.

The subsidy control legislation provides the framework for a new, UK-wide subsidy control regime. View further information about subsidy control (external link).

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