No rates increase for small business and charities in York

Foxwood Community centre

The Council is expected next week to confirm that a freeze on business rates for small businesses and charities will continue.

In effect this means that £700,000 from central government is being injected into the local economy. The move continues the temporary discretionary rate relief grant and will help to mitigate the effect on businesses of the increased rateable values arising from the business rates revaluation exercise undertaken by Central Government. The scheme was intended to support those local businesses that faced the steepest increases in their business rates bills because of the revaluation

During the current year only 98 applied for the relief, leaving £500,000 unallocated in the current year.

The York Council now intends to allocate the relief automatically to all businesses.  This will see no local business or charity with a rateable value below £200K having to pay an increase in their business rates in 2017/18.

Separately the government has confirmed which charities will qualify for Discretionary Rate Relief next year.

The list of successful applicants includes

  • Acomb Sports Club on Acomb Green
  • Foxwood Community Centre
  • Wilf Ward Charity Trust (Green Lane)
  • Chapelfields Community Association (Sanderson Court)

An application by the York and District Indoor Bowls Club is being declined because the organisation is deemed to have too high financial reserves.

Reprieve as Foxwood Community Centre wins rating appeal

Foxwood Community Centre

Foxwood Community Centre

The shock decision by the Council’s ruling executive, not to award discretionary rate relief to the Foxwood and Tang Hall community centres last week, has been reversed on appeal.

The decision has been taken by officials after the Council admitted failing to support the Community Centre applications properly.

The award lasts for two years and could mean that the Foxwood centre – which is now run entirely by volunteers – will be £1500 better off.

The centre already enjoys 80% mandatory rates relief which substantially offsets the £4000 a year rates bill


Foxwood Community Centre rate relief application set to fail

A Christmas market was held on Sunday as volunteers tried to raise funds for the centre.

A Christmas market was held on Sunday as volunteers tried to raise funds for the centre.

Wednesday’s meeting of the York Council’s Executive is being recommended not to provide Discretionary Rate relief for the, now volunteer run, Foxwood Community Centre.

The Foxwood Community Centre’s Business Rating valuation was recently increased from £6000 to £7000.

Discretionary relief – which reduces the proportion of the bill payable –  was routinely granted to the centre when it was Council funded.

The report to tomorrow’s meeting criticises the lack of a “Community Impact Assessment” (CIA) which officials say should have been submitted with the rebate application.  Any CIA would be little different from that produced for the Council in previous years.

14 other charitable organisations in the city are also being denied relief. They include the Tang Hall Community Centre and the Theatre Royal.

NB A reduction for the Chapelfields community centre at Sanderson House is recommended for approval.  This will be worth £2,592 to the centre.

Charities to miss out as York Council set to turn down rate relief applications

Foxwood and Chapelfields community centres to get relief

There are some surprising omissions from the list of organisations in the City who will miss out on discretionary rate relief when the Council Cabinet meets tomorrow.

York and District Indoor Bowls club  set to get Rates relief

York and District Indoor Bowls club set to get Rates relief

Most have been rejected because they do not have an “equalities” policy, haven’t completed a community impact assessment or have reserves of over £10,000

Amongst those affected are:

  • Acorn A R L Club
  • Dringhouses Sports & Social Club
  • York Cricket & Rugby Union Club
  • Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (New Earswick swimming pool)
  • Huntington Community Centre
  • Naburn Village Hall
  • Hopgrove Playing Fields Association
  • Dunnington Reading Room (Village Hall)
  • Stockton On Forest Village Hall
  • Yorkshire Air Museum
  • Heworth Without Community Centre
  • Haxby & Wigginton Youth & Community Centre
  • York CVS (Clifton)

A full list can be viewed by clicking here

A list of organisations recommended to get rate relief can be viewed by clicking here. It includes the Foxwood Community Centre who will not have to pay £398 in rates, Chapelfields Community Association (£2,430), while the York and District Indoor Bowls club on Thanet Road gets relief of £3,405.

York school set to lose rate relief application

The Steiner school in Fishergate is set to have an application for a reduction in its Business Rate liability turned down by the York Council.

The school is a registered charity and a non for profit organisation with any surplus made used for development. The school has recommended fees of £6,500 pa per child. The school was seeking a discretionary rebate of £3203 but this is set to be turned down by Labour Councillors apparently on the grounds that it is a fee paying schools.

The York Council currently discounts around £95,000 that charities in the City would otherwise pay in Business Rates. The scale of the relief was reduced when Labour took office in York.

Most charities, and other not for profit organisations, already receive what is known as “mandatory relief” which is paid for by central government.

In York the division of the Discretionary Rate relief is as follows


DRR (total) £

CYC Share £

Not-for Profit









Rural Discretionary



Rural Top Up



Total Cost



The complete list of organisations recommended to receive Discretionary Rate Relief over the next year can be found by clicking here.

It includes the Tang Hall, Bell Farm and Foxwood Community Centres. Several Church aided schools are also included.

2/3 of the relief is paid by central government.

Small business rate relief goes begging in York?

The York Council has published a list of all commercial properties which qualify for a reduction in their rates payable under the Small Business Rates Relief scheme who, as of 20th September 2013, were not receiving Small Business Rates Relief and where the properties rateable value was under £12,000.

small bus

The full list can be seen by clicking here.

The government’s guidance on small business rate relief says,

“You can get small business rate relief if:

• you only use one property

• its rateable value is less than £12,000

Until 31 March 2014 you’ll get 100% relief (doubled from the usual rate of 50%) for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less. This means you won’t pay business rates on properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less.

The rate of relief will gradually decrease from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000.

If you have more than one property. You could get small business rate relief if the rateable value of each of your other properties is less than £2,600. The rateable values of the properties are added together and the relief applied to the main property”.

The York Council’s advice and application forms can be found here.

However the web page appears to need updating.

The Council have not commented on whether they proactively contact small businesses which may qualify for the relief.

We believe, against a background of failing retail businesses particularly in suburban locations – that the Council, should do more to help.