Discretionary rate relief

This scheme supports voluntary and community groups who pay business rates in Calderdale. It is additional to the mandatory rate relief awarded to properties occupied by charitable organisations that are wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Any relief to which you are entitled is deducted from your bill. It is awarded for two years at a time.

Aims

  • To encourage non-profit making organisations to develop their facilities;
  • To recognise equal opportunities;
  • To promote access to membership and activities;
  • To provide assistance, where possible, to disadvantaged individuals and groups.

The scheme allows organisations to use their resources towards achieving these aims instead of paying all or some of their rates bill. The Council currently supports over 300 organisations in this way.

Rate relief is awarded as a percentage of the total rates payable per year, rather than as an amount. This means that if your organisation's rates are increased, then your rate relief is increased too.

Process

Voluntary and community organisations currently paying rates must read the Application criteria to ensure that they meet the criteria.

Once you are satisfied that you meet our criteria, and that you will be able to comply with the terms and conditions of the rate relief, you will need to complete our application form below:

To process your application, we require signed copies of your organisation's constitution, or similar documentation. We also need your organisation's most recent annual accounts. You can post or email copies of these documents.

You will need to have a copy of your rates bill so that you can provide your account reference number. Your application cannot be considered without this. If your organisation has moved premises and not received a rates bill, or if you have any query about the amount of rates payable, please contact the Business Rates section on (01422) 393699. Email: business.rates@calderdale.gov.uk.

The Grants & Voluntary Section commissioning team is responsible for dealing with your application and making decisions about the amount of relief payable, and not the amount to pay. 

For more information, or to request a paper copy of the application forms contact:

  • Username Grants Section
  • Email grants@calderdale.gov.uk
  • Telephone 01422 392317
  • Address
    Grants & Voluntary Sector Commissioning
    Communities
    2nd Floor
    Westgate House
    Halifax
    HX1 1PS

Application criteria

Please read through this information carefully, to ensure you meet our criteria and comply with the terms and conditions, before you complete the application form.

  1. To be eligible for discretionary rate relief, an organisation must clearly demonstrate that:
    1. it was not established for, and is not conducted for, the purpose of making a profit;
    2. it was not established for, and is not conducted for, the purpose of providing a financial benefit for the people who run it;
    3. it is directly liable to pay the non-domestic rates on the property;
    4. the property on which rate relief is being sought is occupied with one or more groups whose objectives are charitable, philanthropic, religious or concerned with sports, leisure, education, social welfare, science, literature or arts;
    5. the property is wholly or mainly used for a community based activity;
    6. membership is open to all sections of the community or that any restrictions placed on membership are legitimate;
    7. the predominant beneficiaries of these activities are Calderdale residents.
  2. The following organisations will not be eligible for relief:
    1. those that support, either directly or indirectly, politically motivated groups or parties;
    2. those that set their membership rates at such a high level as to exclude the general community;
    3. housing associations and organisations that are set up and funded to deliver government programmes;
    4. charity shops run by organisations whose Head office is outside of Calderdale;
    5. Organisations whose main focus is outside of Calderdale.
  3. The level of rate relief awarded to eligible organisations is dependent on the type of organisation and its activities, according to the following scale:

    1. Charitable, philanthropic or religious organisations, or those concerned with education, social welfare, science or literature
    Level of relief awarded 100%
    Exceptions

    If the organisation has unrestricted annual income of over £100,000, the level of relief will be reduced by 10%.

    If the organisation has unrestricted financial reserves of more than two years unrestricted expenditure, the level of relief will be reduced by 20%.

    If the organisation has bar facilities which open often, and/or produce to over 50% of gross unrestricted income, the level of relief will be reduced to 20%.

    2. Clubs, societies and other organisations concerned with recreation, sport or art
    Level of relief awarded 60%
    Exceptions

    If the organisation has unrestricted annual income of over £100,000, the level of relief will be reduced by 10%.

    If the organisation has financial reserves of more than two years normal expenditure, the level of relief will be reduced by 20%.

    If the organisation has bar facilities which open often, and/or produce to over 50% of gross income, the level of relief will be reduced to 20%.

    3. Indoor social clubs (except clubs for older people, that is over 60 years old, and youth clubs, which are both included in type 1 above)
    Level of relief awarded 10%
    Exceptions -

    In exceptional cases, additional relief above the standard levels set out above can be awarded, but organisations must clearly demonstrate why they should be awarded more than the standard award.

Terms and conditions

  • Under the discretionary rate relief scheme, relief once approved shall be granted for two years.
  • Organisations will not be required to apply annually.
  • However, organisations are required to notify the Grants & Voluntary Sector team of any change to their status, changes to their constitution / rules and changes of membership rates. Failure to do so could result in the loss of rate relief and action by the Council to recover any relief previously awarded.