For businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure

NB Now available to an expanded range of businesses including employment agencies, estate agents and letting agents, betting shops and bingo halls

No business rates payable from 1 April 2020 for 12 months.

The Government's latest guidance to local authorities is at

The relief is for properties that are wholly or mainly used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues;
  • for assembly and leisure; or
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

Sections 10 to 15 of the detailed guidance set out those properties that will benefit from the relief.

Sections 16 of the detailed guidance sets out those properties which are not eligible for this relief.

Sunderland City Council is working with its software supplier to reissue the 2020/21 business rates bills as soon as possible to all businesses that will benefit from the relief. If you are in this category and have received your 2020/21 business rates bill earlier in March, you do not need to pay it - a nil bill will be issued by the council in due course.

For those businesses who benefit from the relief and currently pay by direct debit then no action is required to cancel the direct debit - the council will not process the collection of any monies due in respect of the 2020/21 financial year.

Business Rates - Nurseries (Relief)

The Department for Education has also announced that to support privately-owned nurseries, the Chancellor has decided that they will also now be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year. That means non-local authority providers of childcare will pay no business rates in 2020/21, from 1 April.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be hereditaments (properties):

  • occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

Guidance for local authorities on the application of the holiday has been published by Government.

Full information on the Government's financial support for businesses can be found at

Business rates - Estate Agents, Letting Agents and Bingo Halls

HM Treasury announced (25 March) that estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls are to pay no business rates this coming financial year.