Hardship Relief

Winchester City Council can consider reducing rates where a ratepayer would suffer hardship by paying the whole rates bill.

What is it?

Hardship relief is a reduction in the NNDR (business rates) charge. It is given in the form of a reduction on the annual bill from Winchester City Council.

Who can apply?

Applicants must:

  • pay business rates to Winchester City Council
  • be suffering evidenced hardship which is exceptional

What do you need to submit?

We can help you to complete your application, but if you send an incomplete application we will not be able to consider it. You must submit:

  • a fully completed application form
  • previous two years' accounts (or accounts for the lifetime of the business, if the business is less than two years old), audited as applicable
  • proof of hardship (eg trading figures, customer trends, projections)a brief recovery plan, showing how hardship relief will support other efforts by the business to manage the situation

What criteria are used to assess the merit of your application?

Criteria are subject to change as the Council regularly reviews its policies and criteria.  Your application should take account of the following criteria:

  • the business's contribution to local distinctiveness (eg history, character, shopping offer of the district);
  • the nature of the business: is it one of the five core sectors of the Winchester economy (knowledge/creative industries; service; tourism; retail and land-based);
  • the size of the business: the Council would normally prioritise smaller businesses (ie employing up to 25 people), although relief is in principle available for all businesses;
  • how the granting of rate relief will be in the interest of council tax payers.

Notes to applicants

  1. Relief may be given for a full or part year depending on the nature and likely duration of the hardship.
  2. Decisions will normally be made by the City Council within two months of receipt of a complete application, to account for the time taken for an applicant to fully complete the assessment process.
  3. Hardship relief is normally given for short, fixed periods followed by a review.