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Charitable And Discretionary Rate Relief

Mandatory Relief

Charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property which is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80% of the full rate bill or the transitional bill where the transitional arrangements apply.

Discretionary Relief


Authorities can, under S47 of the Local Government Act 1988, also reduce the bill further or waive it all together for certain bodies not established or conducted for profit; and grant Transitional Relief for small and medium sized properties.

As part of our ongoing commitment to support local economic recovery and, in particular an increasing recognition of the contribution made by local clubs and charities, we have reviewed our current scheme of Non-Domestic Rate Relief to ensure that we target the maximum benefit to those that are most in need. As from 1st April 2014 organisations that are philanthropic, religious or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts can apply for discretionary relief. Discretionary relief is also available to rural businesses under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997.

Since 1st April 2015, Discretionary Relief has extended to Transitional Relief for small and medium sized properties with a rateable value up to and including £50,000 which would have received transitional relief in 2015/16 or 2016/17 under the previous scheme.

 Eligibility

Discretionary rate relief may be awarded as follows*

Type of Organisation  Eligibility Criteria Level of Discretionary Rate Relief
Sports and Social Clubs

Sports and social clubs that provide indoor or outdoor sports facilities for the principal benefit of Wyre Forest district residents without requiring a substantial membership fee to be paid that would otherwise be financially prohibitive to widespread participation. 

Eligible sports and social clubs that are not registered as Community Amateur Sports Clubs will be encouraged to do so, in order to qualify for 80% mandatory relief. 

Up to 50%
Development Companies Development companies operating for the benefit of benefit of towns and villages in Wyre Forest district. Up to 100% but a maximum of 20% if receiving Mandatory Relief.
Museums  Museums that are open to the public on a regular basis, and are based in Wyre Forest District.  Up to 100% but a maximum of 20% if receiving Mandatory Relief.
Youth Organisations Youth Organisations that provide activities wholly or mainly for young people resident in Wyre Forest district.  Up to 100% but a maximum of 20% if receiving Mandatory Relief.
Village Halls Village halls that are not owned by parish or town councils.  Up to 100% but a maximum of 20% if receiving Mandatory Relief.
Other Charities Other charities that provide services solely or mainly for people resident in Wyre Forest district.   Up to 100% but a maximum of 20% if receiving Mandatory Relief.
Leisure Centres Leisure Centres situated in Wyre Forest where the freehold is owned by the Council but the centres are operated by another organisation. 

DC Leisure under the contract operating at 1 April 2014: Up to 100% but a maximum of 20% if receiving Mandatory Relief.

Any other operating contract: policy to be decided by Director or Economic Prosperity and Place in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Resources and Transformation. 

Rural Businesses Situated within a settlement of the Council's Rural Settlement List and be providing a benefit to the local community.  Up to 100% but a maximum of 20% if receiving Mandatory Relief.

Properties with a rateable value up to and including £50,000

Would have been eligible for transitional relief in 2015/16

or 2016/17 had the previous transitional relief scheme continued

As would have been available under the previous statutory scheme as presented by the Non-Domestic Rating *(Chargeable Amounts) (England) Regulations 2009

 *Subject to (but excepting those eligible for Transitional Relirf):

  • The total amount of rate relief granted (discretionary plus mandatory) not exceeding 100%
  • Non profit organisations submitting accounts for the last 3 years to demonstrate that they have not made a profit or that any surplus has been reinvested in the organisation
  • There being a limit of £25,000 of net current assets held on the organisation’s balance sheet, unless the Council is provided with satisfactory evidence that such an amount is being accumulated for a specific project to enhance or maintain the organisation’s facilities

As a matter of general principle, the following would not get discretionary rate relief:

  • Housing Associations/Registered social landlords**
  • Museum collections for museums not based in Wyre Forest
  • National youth facilities
  • National charities
  • Nurseries and playgroups
  • Shops operated by charities
  • Schools

**Housing Associations/RSLs currently receiving rate relief will have that relief tapered out as follows:

  • 2014/15 - 75%
  • 2015/16 - 50%
  • 2016/17 - 25%
  • 2017/18 onwards - zero

with the exception of the Community Housing Group who will continue to receive 50% relief until 31st March 2019.


Download the Charitable and Discretionary Relief Application Form (12K).



Wyre Forest District Council