Discretionary business rates relief for pop-up shops


The Crescent

Britain’s high streets are changing and evolving fast. Town centres used to be dominated by the same large multiple outlet retailers. Sometimes referred to as the ‘clone high street,’ but many of these large-scale operators are disappearing due to many factors, and there is now a desire for a much more diverse visitor experience. With more small scale, specialist, and local level businesses to come forward

With this change has come a new appreciation of small independent businesses and following covid as many people have a desire for their local community to thrive again, with a sense that it reflects the area they call home. 

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council would like to extend our current help even further with the renaissance of local retail areas in areas that are struggling with longer term vacant retail outlets, by extending a helping hand to new businesses that wish to use a pop-up shop approach in trying out their business idea. 

We will do these by giving 100% business rates relief to a maximum of £20,000 for the period of the pop-up shop tenancy. The landlord will also benefit from a new period of empty property relief once the period of the tenancy has ended. If the pop-up shop is in one of the units owned by the council in the Crescent, we will also give a rent-free period for up to three months. For private landlords we would also need evidence that the rental to pop-up shops had been discounted for at least a one-month rent free period had been given.

Pop-up shop - what are they and who benefits

A pop-up shop is where a short-term lease (less than six months) is agreed between a landlord and a business or individual to occupy a vacant property for a short period of time. The notion of a pop-up unit is mainly thought of as being shop, but it could also include other projects including art galleries and community projects.  

New businesses particularly benefit from pop-ups as it provides an excellent opportunity to try a new business and see if the concept will work without the need for a long-term commitment. 

Landlords that are willing to work with the council on this can also benefit. There is the potential for a small rental income. Also having a tenant will improve the appearance of the property; and raises the awareness of the property to potential long-term tenants. 

Pop-up units improve the vibrancy of areas that may be suffering from longer term problem and help attract new customers; at the same time, a property in use is usually more secure suffers less vandalism and may potentially even lower a property’s insurance premiums.

The local community benefit as they have more local choice and options in the area and local shops continue to be available to meet local needs.

The council will also put any new businesses in this scheme into its communications online and in the Borough Bulletin, which has a distribution to 47,500 households.

Who normally pays business rates on a pop-up shop?

When a pop-up shop takes occupancy of a vacant unit, the responsibility to pay business rates usually passes from the landlord to the tenant. This is if the tenant is in occupation for more than six weeks. Under this scheme the council will give 100% discretionary relief on business rates to a maximum of £20,000. This relief will only be provided after all other applicable reliefs have been applied first, such as small business rates relief.

Last updated: 19/04/2023 11:08