The Council is committed to encouraging business growth, the creation of new employment opportunities and the attraction of new businesses to the District. In addition, it wants to support the town centres of Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley by encouraging the reoccupation of vacant premises by new or expanding businesses. In order to support these objectives the Council has developed and adopted a Discretionary Rate Relief Policy in accordance with the Localism Act 2011. Subject, to approval by the Council and the satisfaction of State Aid Rules, Discretionary Rate Relief may be available provided that applicants can demonstrate benefit to Council Tax payers of the area. There are three components to the Policy as set out below.
The Council's amended Discretionary Rate Relief Policy as approved by Cabinet on 17 November 2016 can be viewed below.
Discretionay Rate Relief Policy - Rate Relief for...
Town Centre Discretionary Business Rate Relief
This is a scheme to promote the occupation of empty retail units in town centre locations of Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley. The Town Centre Business Rates Relief Scheme will have the following criteria:
- Essential Criteria
(a) Must occupy a currently empty retail unit or business premises in one of the eligible streets shown in the District’s 3 town centres (maps attached).
(b) Must be a new business or an expansion of an existing one into additional or larger retail premises in the District’s 3 town centres.
(c ) Must not be a business which is a Charity Shop, Betting Shop, Off licence; or located within a market or market type of operation (other incentives from the landlord should be available to support these type of new businesses).
(d) Must not be a franchise, unless the applicant can demonstrate that they are wholly responsible for the costs associated with running the business, including the payment of rates and leasing costs.
Please note: No applications can be made in retrospect i.e. all applications need to be submitted prior to opening for business.
In considering applications that meet the above essential criteria, priority consideration will be given to the following factors:
- Empty retail units or business premises in prominent ground floor locations in town centres
- Empty premises within the main shopping streets within each town centre
- Business relocations provided they are expansions and are considered to be of overall benefit to the town centre, e.g. moving from a secondary street to a main shopping street.
- Small businesses (independent traders)
- Level of financial contribution to be made by landlord e.g. rent free period.
The level of any Small Business Rate Relief Scheme discount and any other discounts that the new business may be entitled to will be taken into account in determining the level of additional business rates discount under this scheme.
The Council will give priority to premises where the landlord is prepared to provide a financial contribution to the new or expanding business in the form of a rent free period or similar.
Subject to criteria being met above and the number of priority factors shown in the application, the Council will provide 100% discount on business rates for either a 12 month or 24 month period OR a maximum £10,000 contribution towards business rates, whichever is the lower.
For example, where the annual business rates payable for a unit is £7,000 the Council Scheme will meet this in full for the first year of trading; where the annual business rates for a unit is £17,000 the Council Scheme will meet £10,000 of this amount with the owner of the business being responsible for the balance of the £7,000 in that year.
In all cases, the maximum award from the Council under this scheme will be £10,000 for each application meeting the essential criteria.
If other discounts are available, such as Small Business Rate Relief, this will be applied first before any discount is calculated through an approved application.
Application forms for assistance via the Town Centre Business Rates Relief Scheme can be accessed below.
You can also check the boundaries of the eligible areas within the three town centres using the downloads below.
The application form must be completed by the ratepayer or a person authorised to sign on behalf of the ratepayer (e.g. accountant/agent).
Applications for support will be dealt with in the strictest confidence and will be determined in accordance with the Council's Discretionary Rate Relief Policy (October 2014 (revised October 2016)). As such approved applications will be subject to conditions which the Council will apply to all approvals. Applicants will be required to sign a declaration on the application form accepting such conditions as part of any subsequent approval.
For more information on this scheme please contact the Economic Development Team on 01543 464272 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Growth and Inward Investment Discretionary Business Rates Relief
As part of the application, the applicant must clearly demonstrate why they believe it is in the interests of the local council tax payer for the relief to be granted. Applications should support Cannock Chase Council’s economic development priorities as set out in the Cannock Chase Corporate Strategy.
Each case will be considered on its merits and the degree to which it demonstrates the benefits to both the community and the council tax payer.
The criteria for awarding relief in this context are:
- The establishment of a new business or company within the Cannock Chase District.
- The evidence of financial need i.e all other avenues of funding have been explored and refusal of support would result in the applicant not moving into the District or if already in the District to larger premises.
- The creation of new or additional employment opportunities for the residents of Cannock Chase.
- The relocation of an existing business to a larger premise within the district.
- Please note: no applications can be made in retrospect i.e. all applications need to be submitted and approved prior to any relocation or investment in new premises.
In considering grant relief under this Scheme, the Council will have due regard to the following criteria:
- in circumstances of exceptional benefit to the local economy.
- evidence of financial need
- if the proposal is affordable to the Council;
- the difference the relief will mean to the business and
- the impact of the business on the local community.
- Whether the organisation provides a significant number of jobs which may be applied for by Cannock Chase residents and whether the organisation undertakes to advertise all of its vacancies locally and to pursue other measures which are likely to result in the recruitment of local people.
- Whether the organisation currently has or plans to provide skills and training for its staff, particularly to upskill its staff and where possible provides apprenticeship opportunities.
- Whether the organisation provides inward investment from a country outside the United Kingdom and is one of the initial companies from that country locating in Cannock Chase.
An applicant may not be expected to deliver against all of these criteria but will be required to demonstrate that they will make a significant impact on the economy of the District and bring community benefit through their combined delivery against these criteria.
Dialogue will need to take place with the Council’s Economic Development service before an application is made in order to assess against these criteria.
Following this dialogue, a Business Case proposal is submitted for rates relief to the Head of Economic Development. This will be formally reviewed in conjunction with the Head of Finance and the Portfolio Holder (Councillor) for Economic Development prior to a decision. The outcome should normally be notified within four working weeks of the submission of the business case proposal.
The provision of Rate Relief is one of short term assistance to a company to enable sustainable economic growth to take place. The ratepayer must demonstrate that any business / operation is financially viable in the medium and long term and has financial need for this assistance i.e. all other avenues of funding have been explored and refusal of support would result in the applicant not moving into the District or if already in the District to larger premises.
Consideration will be given to whether the organisation provides residents with such services, opportunities or facilities that cannot be obtained locally or are not provided by another organisation. However, the impact on other businesses in the area which provide the same or similar services or facilities including whether the award of relief could have an anti-competitive effect on other businesses.
The relief applies to sustainable business growth and should the business cease trading or move out of the area within five years of the relief being paid the amount of assistance granted will be required to be repaid to Cannock Chase Council.
Subject to the criteria above being met assistance will be in the form of a reduction in Rates Payable based upon occupation of a premises and will be limited to 50% of Business Rates Growth (Business Rates Growth for this purpose relates to the Rates Payable for a business moving into the area or difference in rates payable between the “new” premise and the previous occupation for businesses expanding or moving within the area) for up to a 24 month period.
Application forms for assistance via the Rate Relief to Support Business Growth & Inward Investment Scheme can be accessed below. Business rate relief is now for a term of up to 24 months.
The form must be completed by the ratepayer or a person authorised to sign on behalf of the ratepayer (e.g. accountant/agent).
Applications for support will be dealt with in the strictest confidence and will be determined in accordance with the Council’s Discretionary Rate Relief Policy (October 2014 – revised October 2016). As such approved applications will be subject to conditions which the Council will apply to all approvals. For example, any business or company that ceases trading or moves outside the district will become liable for the full rates payable from the date of first occupation. Applicants will be required to sign a declaration on the application form accepting such conditions as part of any subsequent approval.
The level of support awarded will be determined by virtue of benefit to the District and affordability to the Council.
For more information on the scheme please contact on 01543 464272 or email email@example.com
Discretionary Rate Relief to Support Local Charities / Community Groups
Discretionary Rate Relief to Support Local Charities, Community Groups as well as amateur sports clubs, not for profit organisations and certain rural businesses. Previously, groups such as these have been supported by the Council using Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and support is often a 'top-up' to Mandatory Relief.
For more information please visit the business rates section.
Last Updated: 26/08/2020