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Uneven Picture for Northern Ireland Business Rates Bills As Rates Poundages Fall

15 11 19 business rates

But No Reprieve for Offices, Pubs and Hotels Says Colliers.

The reduction in the Regional Poundage Rate announced this week in Northern Ireland may give some businesses some respite in their rate bills when the new list begins- but it won’t help all sectors- and offices, pubs and hotels are particularly vulnerable to rises in their rates bills, say business rates experts at Colliers International.

The Regional Poundage Rate* announced in the NI Budget on Tuesday, has been cut by 18% resulting in all areas of Norther Ireland seeing a reduction in the rates poundage rates for non- domestic properties. The average decrease in the Total Non-Domestic Poundage is 10.37% across the various NI Districts.
Table showing the % change on the previous year’s total Non-Domestic poundage (using provisional regional poundage rate figure):


Non Domestic Rate Poundage 2019/2020 (£)

Non-Domestic Rate Poundage 2020/2021 (£)

% Decrease on Previous Year's Poundage


Antrim & Newtownabbey




Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon








Causeway Coast and Glens




Derry and Strabane




Fermanagh and Omagh




Lisburn and Castlereagh




Mid and East Antrim




Mid Ulster




Newry, Mourne and Down




Ards and North Down





Northern Ireland has also been granted a three months business rates holiday, for all businesses apart from utility companies and government bodies, following government announcements to support businesses suffering from the fall out of Covid-19.

Despite this, given the inflation of NAVs announced in January, there are still some sectors that will see steep rises when the new bills are sent out. In particular, those in the offices, hotels and pubs sectors.

According to David Hughes, of Colliers International, based in Belfast, “Whilst a reduction in the Northern Ireland Regional Rate Poundage will be welcomed by some ratepayers, many businesses will still see increased rates liabilities when rates bills are issued in June after the government granted 3-month rate holiday.

“Pubs and Hotels for example, some of which saw NAV increases of over 100% as a result of the new Revaluation, will particularly suffer once rates bills are issued and their hardships will be further exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.”

Colliers point out that City Centre offices will also see increases despite the reduction in the Rates Poundage, given that NAVs rose over 30% from their 2015 values in the Revaluation, particularly rising in Belfast. Retailers will see a reduction in their liability, but as David Hughes continues, “The three month rate holiday in Northern Ireland pales in significance to the 12 months granted to all retailers, hospitality and leisure businesses in England, and despite rate reductions, retail will still struggle in the months ahead.”

John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers International, said, “The business rates system in Northern Ireland is very different to Great Britain’s and we have been campaigning for some form of uniformity across the borders. Whilst we are pleased  that Northern Ireland businesses have been granted similar grants to those in England** - and we urge all companies to take advantage of these given these tricky times ahead. However the fact that offices, pubs and hotels in Northern Ireland look likely to see steep rises in June when the new list begins is worrying. We would urge the Chancellor to certainly extent the retail/hospitality relief to 12 months for this sector in Northern Ireland, as granted in the rest of Great Britain."

The New Valuation List came into force on 1 April 2020 with an assumed five- year Valuation Cycle, Colliers will be able to appeal assessments right away.


 *to be ratified at the end of April

**a grant of £10,000 to all small businesses eligible for the Small Business Rates Relief and a grant of £25,000 to all companies in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors with an RV of between £15,000 and £50,999. 

Related Experts

John Webber

Head of Rating



I have over 30 years’ experience in the rating industry and lead a 90 plus rating team at Colliers International.  When I took over responsibility for the team in 2005, it consisted of only a dozen people and has now grown into one of the leading rating advisory teams in the country.  I am a member of Colliers International Management Executive as well as sitting on the company’s promotion panel. 

I am regularly called upon by the national media to give my views on a range of business rates issues and I am vocal commentator on the 2017 Revaluation.

I started my career in the Valuation Office Agency in Kidderminster.  I joined Gerald Eve in 2000 where I spent 10 years before moving to Gooch Webster (now Colliers International). I sit on the National Retail Panel of Rating Surveyors Association which provides guidance on how the RSA town committees work with the VOA and valuation matters.  John sits on the RICS Rating Diploma Committee having passed the prestigious qualification in 2014.

Philip Harrison and I founded 'Accurates' in 2007, the Collier's Compliance and Audit team, which although forms an integral part of the Rating Team is now a leading brand in its own right.

View expert

David Hughes

Senior Surveyor

Business Space Lease Advisory


David is a Senior Surveyor within the Colliers Professional Services Department. 

Since joining Colliers International he has advised on rent reviews, lease renewals, lease restructures and Non-Domestic Rating work on behalf of a number of landlord and tenant clients.

View expert

Hannah Zitren

Associate Director

Marketing & Communications


I am responsible for media relations and generating coverage in top tier broadcast and print media. I work across a range of Colliers’ UK & Pan-EMEA business lines advising on their strategic and tactical PR needs.

My role includes:

·         Developing and executing PR plans for the various business lines to help promote their key messages across all aspects of the media - print, broadcast and social.

·          Media evaluation and reporting objectives, targets and successes across the business.

·         Reputation management and crisis management.

·         Media training.

·         Media engagement: setting up meetings with top tier media and various internal spokespeople to continuously expand and build a presence with property and vertical media network.

·         Consistently delivering service excellence, meeting with business heads of a regular basis and trying to influence the research as much as possible to ensure our content has a strong enough news hook.

·         Key campaigns that I work on include MIPIM; MAPIC; REVO; Midsummer Retail Report; IHIF; Cities of Influence in addition to a host of all alternative property sector research reports.

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