Council looks to business rate relief to drive local economic growth

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Businesses across the district can now apply for additional rate relief under new criteria that have been set up to encourage greater local economic growth.

has made the change to the way it grants business rate relief as part of its commitment to supporting the local economy.

This local Discretionary Rate Relief is in addition to the current rate reliefs and exemptions that businesses can currently apply for.

The council has also changed the way in which local charities and sporting organisations receive business rate relief.  The move has been made to ensure that funds are targeted fairly, openly and transparently to the local organisations which provide the most benefit to the district’s residents and those that are most dependent on rate relief for their continued work.

Organisations can apply for additional discretionary relief if they are:

  • an existing business in one of the council‘s targeted growth sectors and are looking to establish or develop new operations in the district (the target sectors are finance, professional services, wholesale, media/digital activities, scientific activities and low carbon)
  • looking to invest in existing office units or to create new, high-quality office space
  • occupying a listed building following necessary renovation to bring it back into commercial use.
  • a local not-for-profit organisation.


Councillor Graham Swift is ’s cabinet member for Tourism, Economic Development and Enterprise.  He said:

The council is committed to providing continued targeted support for local businesses through the discretionary rate relief policy. We want to encourage business growth and inward investment in our niche sectors.

For example, a recent report has identified as one of the 47 creative clusters which account for three quarters of the UK’s creative businesses. shares characteristics with Edinburgh, Manchester and London in having a high concentration of creative businesses whilst also showing strong signs of growth in this sector. We want to do all that we can to support that growth.


The new scheme is now open for applications.

For more information, including the online application process, go to https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/paylessbusinessrates

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