Non-Domestic Rates - Village Shop Relief

General Information

On 1st April 1998, the Village Shop Relief scheme was introduced. It enabled Councils to consider applications for rates relief from some types of business which are based in 'rural settlements' and are of benefit to the local Community.

Rural Settlements

The definition of the towns and the villages in Moray which may be treated as ‘rural settlements’ for the purposes of this scheme was initially provided by the Scottish Government. A rural settlement cannot have a population of more than 3,000 persons. The government's list excluded several towns in Moray from being considered as rural settlements. The excluded towns and villages in Moray are: 

  • Buckie
  • Elgin
  • Forres
  • Keith
  • Lossiemouth

The villages of Findhorn, and Kinloss and Portgordon, which were previously excluded by the Scottish Government, have now been removed from the list of excluded towns and villages by the government with effect from 1st April, 2004 and 1st April, 2005, respectively.

The Moray Council has no discretion in determining which towns and villages may be considered as rural settlements. It cannot consider an application for rates relief under the terms of the Village Shop Relief scheme from any business based in a settlement which is not defined as a rural settlement.

The Relief Scheme

There are two aspects to the Village Shop Relief scheme: a mandatory relief scheme, which will be granted automatically if the applicant's business satisfies the qualifying conditions set out in legislation, and discretionary relief scheme, entitlement to which is awarded at the discretion of the Council's Policy and Resources Committee.

On 1st April, 2010 the Scottish Government increased the thresholds for qualification to those shown here.

Mandatory Relief

In order to qualify for mandatory relief under the Village Shop Relief scheme, a business must satisfy the following conditions:

  • it is located within a designated rural settlement
  • it occupies a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £8,500
  • it is the only one within the settlement which is used as a General Store, mainly engaged in the retail sale of food (excluding confectionery) and general household goods
  • it is the only one within the settlement which is used as a Post Office

Businesses which meet these conditions may be entitled to an award of mandatory rates relief equivalent to 100% of the amount of their Non-Domestic Rates bill.

Discretionary Relief

In order to qualify for discretionary relief under the Village Shop Relief scheme, a business must satisfy the following conditions:

  • it is located within a designated rural settlement
  • it occupies a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £17,000
  • the Council must be satisfied the business is of benefit to the local community and it would be in the interest of Council Taxpayers to make an award of relief

Any application for an award of discretionary relief under the the Village Shop Relief scheme will be considered by the Council's Policy and Resources Committee.

Businesses Entitled to Village Shop Relief

On 1st April 2003, the Scottish Government extended the terms of the Village Shop Relief scheme to include the following classes of business:

  • singly-owned public houses/hotels with a rateable value of up to £12,750, where the public house/hotel is either the sole remaining retail outlet or the sole public house in the community
  • singly-owned petrol filling stations with a rateable value of up to £12,750
  • small food shops with a rateable value of up to £8,500

Businesses which meet these conditions may be entitled to an award of mandatory rates relief of 100% of the amount of their Non-Domestic Rates bill.

For further information contact us, or download the Village Shop Relief (PDF).

Contact Us

Non Domestic Rates Team
Council Offices
High Street
Elgin
IV30 1BX

01343 563194

ndr-enq@moray.gov.uk

Online Services

A-Z of Online Forms |

Rate this Page