Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Rural Rates Relief

Rural Rates Relief (often called Village Shop relief) is available to General stores, post offices, small food shops, public house, hotels or petrol stations in rural settlements. The property must have a rateable value of £17,000 or less and be based outside Kirkwall. From 1 April 2017 mandatory rates relief of 100% may be available and in some instances discretionary relief may be available if mandatory relief does not apply.

Rural Settlement

A rural settlement is an area that has a population of 3,000 people or less (excluding Kirkwall) - mainly following Parish boundaries. A list of the rural settlements that have been defined in Orkney can be downloaded from the Related Downloads section of this page.

Mandatory Relief 

From 1 April 2017 mandatory rates relief of 100% is available if:

  • The business is a General Store, Post Office or Small Food Shop with a rateable value of £8,500 or less, and it is the only such business within the rural settlement.
  • The business is a Public House/Hotel, with a rateable value must be £12,750 or less, and it is the only such business within the rural settlement and the ratepayer does not pay rates on any other such business in Scotland.
  • The business is a Petrol Filling Station with a rateable value is £12,750 or less and the ratepayer does not pay rates on any other Petrol Filling Station in Scotland.

Before 1 April 2017 the mandatory relief available was 50%.

Discretionary Relief 

Relief of up to 100% is available for properties with a rateable value of £17,000 or less that are not eligible for mandatory relief - for example, because the rateable value is too high or it is not the only such business in the rural settlement.

How to Apply

You can download an Application form for Rural Rates Relief from Related Downloads section of this page.