The BID, The Council and your rates

Sunday October 6, 2019

Our Board have been approached by a number of BID businesses who have requested that business rates in Cheltenham are cut.

So, we thought it would be useful to clarify whose role it is to set business rates, who collects them and what the BID can do to help business.

Business rates are not set by the BID or Cheltenham Borough Council.

A property’s rateable value is an assessment of the annual rent the property would command if it were available on the open market on a fixed date. 

This is decided by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which is an agency of HM Revenue and Customs.

Cheltenham Borough Council, which is responsible for collecting the business rates, multiplies the rateable value by a multiplier set by Central Government to work out your business rates.  They then apply any reductions your business may be eligible for to your bill.

The VOA recalculates values at fixed intervals, the last one being 1st April 2015.

Cheltenham Borough Council only keeps a proportion of the business rates it collects, which contributes towards the cost of local services. Gloucestershire County Council also get a small portion, but the majority of the business rates collected is paid to central government

The BID is working with a professional organisation that specialises in helping businesses to find out if they are entitled to challenge the VOA’s decision. Commercial Property Advisors Ltd could help you determine whether your rateable value is fair.  If you would like to be put in touch with them, please email Belinda Hunt at

The BID can’t change your business rates but we constantly lobby on your behalf for more police presence on the streets, more frequent street cleaning and bin emptying, better pavements, weed spraying and so much more.

For more information on reductions available go to or call the business rates team at Cheltenham Borough Council on 01242 264255.