In Northern Ireland, rates are a property tax based on the capital, or market value of homes.  Rates of non-domestic properties, such as businesses and offices, are based on the rental value of your property.

The income from this tax contributes towards the cost of providing local government services, such as leisure services and bin collections, and central government services, such as education and health. 

Your rates bill is made up of two parts:

District rate: the district rate is fixed annually by individual councils and is used to pay for services such as bin collections, recycling and waste disposal, leisure services, street cleaning and parks.

Regional rate: the regional rate is set by central government and is used to pay for services such as roads, education and health.

Rate setting in Ards and North Down Borough Council (ANDBC) is a balance between affordable costs for ratepayers, maintaining quality of services and delivering ambitions for the Borough in relation to job creation, attracting visitors and regeneration.   


Revaluation of non-domestic rates

Land and Property Services (LPS) is revaluing all non-domestic properties in Northern Ireland for rates. A new Valuation List will come in to effect on 1 April 2020 based on rental values as at 1 April 2018.

The Revaluation does not increase income for the Council, it only redistributes the rates for individual properties (some properties rates will go up, some will go down and some will largely stay the same).

More information about your rates

Rates for 2020-21

We've agreed a domestic rate of 0.3446p in the pound – an increase of 5.64%; and a non-domestic rate of 23.1730p in the pound - an increase of 0.87%.

This equates to an increase of approximately £2.19 per month for the average householder in Ards and North Down.

Ards and North Down Borough Council has delivered one of the lowest council rates in Northern Ireland each year since 2015.  This year alongside external factors such as a national pay award, two issues are having a particular impact on our financial position:

  • the planned repayment of recent loans to fund capital investments in the Borough; and
  • the need to strengthen our reserve fund, which will equip the Council to tackle any economic shocks or unforeseen costs that may arise in the current uncertain financial climate. 

Addressing these issues while maintaining service provision has resulted in a higher than usual rate rise for 2020-21.  This rise will enable us to protect service quality, secure critical capital investments and deliver our economic ambitions for the Borough. Projected rate increases for future years should therefore be lower. 

The increase for businesses will be dependent on the Revaluation 2020 carried out by Land and Property Services, which will come into effect in April. 

How we will use your rates in 2020-21

While 2020-21 requires some financial discipline across the Council, we are continuing to invest. We will progress significant projects including our Borough-wide Greenways network and the redevelopment of Bangor Waterfront through the Belfast Region City Deal. 

We very much welcome the news that Bangor Marine has submitted its planning application for Queen’s Parade and look forward to construction starting once the Planning process has been concluded. 

The following projects will be delivered – a new playground in Ballycrochan, a refurbished fitness suite and sports hall floor in Comber Leisure Centre, community trails throughout the Ards Peninsula and new parking and visitor facilities at Cairn Wood. 

We will also be working to consolidate and improve service delivery in line with our corporate commitments around sustainable development, economic investment and community wellbeing.  This includes:

  • Delivery of our new corporate plan, which outlines ambitious plans for growth and development across the Borough.  
  • Building on our unrivalled success in recycling – our recycling rate has increased by 13% compared to an average rise of just 8% regionally. 
  • Protecting the local environment – our current level of enforcement for environmental crime is up to 10 times higher than most other NI councils.
  • Championing Sustainable Energy Management –managing and running Council assets in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way.
  • Protecting and promoting our open spaces and beautiful beaches with continued success in the Green and Blue Flag Awards.
  • Increasing access to our leisure facilities and increasing memberships at our centres (current membership is over 10,000). 
  • Developing further outdoor recreation opportunities; with a strategic focus on play facilities for children and young people. 
  • Completing four projects under the Peace IV shared spaces programme and delivering new outdoor facilities and walking trails in Comber, Holywood, Portaferry and Portavogie. 
  • Publishing a Local Development Plan that will guide development decisions within our Borough up to 2032. 
  • Supporting investment in new visitor facilities at Exploris Aquarium, Ballycopeland Windmill and Whitespots Country Park in Newtownards. 
  • Delivering and supporting around 100 events that will bring more than 300,000 people into the Borough.   
  • Supporting employability and skills, business start-ups and businesses seeking to grow at all levels of the business pipeline.
  • Council committee to focus on greater efficiencies whilst maintaining services. 
  • Maintain our Investors in People Silver standard as we work to support our staff to deliver better services to the Borough.