High Street Rate Relief

On 10 December 2018, the Welsh Government launched the enhanced High Street and Retail Rates Relief scheme for 2019-20.  The scheme has provided targeted support to help high street and retail properties with their non-domestic rates bills.

Rebecca Evans AM has announced that the Welsh Government is extending the scheme for a further year, providing support to all retailers in Wales with a rateable value of up to £50,000.

£24.2m of support will be made available in 2020-21 through the high street and retail rates relief scheme to support Welsh businesses.  This is in addition to the more than £230m already provided through our other reliefs to help businesses pay their rates bills.

The high street and retail rates relief scheme will provide support to over 15,000 small and medium-sized businesses in 2020-21.  It will be fully funded by the Welsh Government and will provide support of up to £2,500 towards the rates bills for retail properties with a rateable value of up to £50,000.

It will reduce rates bills to zero for retail properties with a rateable value up to £9,100 and reduce bills by £2,500 for properties with a higher rateable value.

As well as supporting retailers on the high street, the scheme will continue to support retailers in other locations.  Ratepayers benefitting from the relief include those with occupied retail premises such as shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and wine bars.

A further £2.4m will be allocated to local authorities to provide additional discretionary rates relief for local businesses and other ratepayers to respond to specific local issues.  This funding will be provided through the local government settlement, taking the total being provided to local authorities for discretionary relief to £4.8m for 2020-21.

This extension to the high street rates relief scheme and the additional funding for discretionary rates relief, together with our permanent small business rates relief scheme, which has been in place since April 2018 and other bespoke reliefs, combine to offer timely and targeted support for ratepayers across Wales.

This scheme will continue to be administered by local authorities on an application basis and operates in addition to the wide range of other support provided by the Welsh Government.

I’m very happy with this this announcement that high street businesses and other retailers in Swansea will receive help with their rate bills again this year. This scheme is about backing businesses on our high streets, and is in addition to the £230m the Welsh Labour Government provides to help businesses pay their bills, ensuring that half of them pay no rates at all.

The current economic conditions and competition from online retailers and out-of-town shopping centres are having a huge impact on our high streets. High streets are the heart of our communities where we shop, work, eat and socialise. This Welsh Government scheme will ensure high street retailers receive support to pay their bills and can continue to provide much-needed services to their local communities.