Help for businesses affected by Bank Buildings fire

Date published: 11 December 2018

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Land & Property Services (LPS) is encouraging businesses affected by the Bank Buildings fire in Belfast who haven’t already contacted them about help with paying their rates to do so.

LPS has previously contacted businesses on rates advice for impacted organisations. Further letters have now been issued by LPS to city centre businesses with details of how to apply for Hardship Rate Relief.

The Hardship Rate Relief Scheme for non-domestic properties is intended to assist a business recover from a temporary crisis, financial or otherwise, as a result of exceptional circumstances.

Anyone who applies for Hardship Rate Relief should continue to pay their rates while LPS considers their application. If the application is successful, LPS will refund any rates paid for the period the Hardship Rate Relief is granted for.

Applications for Hardship Rate Relief must be received by 31st March 2019 at the latest.

Guidance notes and an application form are available to download from the NI Business Info website: www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/hardship-relief

As has already been made clear, business owners who are experiencing cash flow difficulties as a result of the Bank Buildings fire are also encouraged to contact LPS to discuss an extended payment arrangement. While this will not remove any rating liability, it may assist with cash flow difficulties at this time.

Immediately following the incident, LPS established a dedicated team to handle these cases and has been proactively working closely with Belfast City Council, relevant agencies and government departments.

Businesses can contact LPS for advice and information on help with paying rates by:

Tel 0300 200 7801 (charged at local rate)
Tel +44 28 9049 5794 if calling from outside the UK
Text relay 18001 0300 200 7801
Email applicationbased.raterelief@finance-ni.gov.uk

Notes to editors: 

  1. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance Press Office on Tel: 028 9081 6727/028 81 6895 or email dof.pressoffice@finance-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @dptfinance

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