Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA)

Find out what Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA) is and what costs and buildings qualify for it.


BPRA is a 100% tax allowance for certain spending when you’re converting or renovating unused qualifying business premises in a disadvantaged area.

BPRA started on 11 April 2007 and ends on:

  • 31 March 2017 for Corporation Tax
  • 5 April 2017 for Income Tax

State aid

BPRA is a state aid.

When you or your company receive more than €500,000 a year from the scheme, details will be published annually on the European Commission website.

If more information is needed HM Revenue and Customs will contact you.

Qualifying spending

This is capital spending incurred when you:

  • convert a building into business premises
  • renovate a building that is, or will be, a business premises
  • repair business premises

Spending that qualifies for relief is:

  • building work, for example the cost of labour and materials
  • architectural and design services, for example the detailed design of the building and its future layout
  • surveying or engineering services, for example services to check the structure of the building or specialist checks for asbestos
  • planning applications, for example the costs of getting essential planning permissions to alter a listed building
  • statutory fees and statutory permissions, for example the costs of building regulation fees, or getting listed building consent

Spending on acquiring land, extending a building or developing land next to a building doesn’t qualify for BPRA.

Most spending on plant and machinery doesn’t qualify for BPRA unless it’s a fixture and falls within the following:

  • integral features within the meaning of section 33A Capital Allowances Act 2001
  • automatic control systems for opening and closing doors, windows and vents
  • window cleaning installations
  • fitted cupboards and blinds
  • protective installations such as lightning protection, sprinkler and other equipment for containing or fighting fires, fire alarm systems and fire escapes
  • building management systems - these are a computer-based control system installed in buildings that control and monitor the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as:
    • ventilation
    • lighting
    • power systems
    • fire systems
    • security systems
  • cabling in connection with telephone, audio-visual data installations and computer networking facilities which are incidental to the occupation of the building
  • sanitary appliances and bathroom fittings which are:
    • hand driers
    • counters
    • partitions
    • mirrors
    • shower facilities
  • kitchen and catering facilities for producing and storing food and drink for the occupants of the building
  • signs
  • public address systems
  • intruder alarm systems

Qualifying buildings

These are commercial buildings or structures in a disadvantaged area which must have been unused for at least a year.

They must be used for:

  • letting
  • a trade
  • a profession
  • a vocation
  • offices

They aren’t qualifying business premises if a person carrying on a relevant trade holds an interest in them, or they’re:

  • previously used or available for use as a dwelling
  • used wholly or partly for the purposes of a relevant trade

A relevant trade is a trade in the following sectors:

  • fisheries and aquaculture, aquaculture is activities such as fish farming
  • shipbuilding
  • the coal industry
  • the steel industry
  • synthetic fibres
  • the primary production of certain agricultural products
  • the manufacture or marketing of products which imitate or substitute for milk and milk products
  • an undertaking in difficulty for the purposes of the General Block Exemption Regulation 651/2014 (a company is in difficulty if its latest accounts are not produced on a going concern basis)
  • an undertaking subject to an outstanding recovery order (a recovery order applies where an undertaking is in receipt of state aid that’s been declared illegal by the Commission and are subject to an outstanding recovery action, for example they still need to repay the illegal aid)
  • energy, distribution and infrastructure
  • broadband networks
  • the transport sector

Disadvantaged areas

These are:

Use the database to check a postcode.

Allowances and charges

There’s an initial allowance equal to 100% of the qualifying spending.

If any part of the 100% initial allowance isn’t claimed, the person that incurred the qualifying spending and holds the relevant interest in the building, may claim writing down allowances (WDAs).

WDAs are given at an annual rate of 25% on the straight line basis to the person holding the relevant interest until all the qualifying spending has been allowed.

There’s a balancing adjustment if there’s a balancing event within 7 years of the first use of the building after conversion or renovation (5 years for spending incurred from 1 or 6 April 2014). The main balancing events are the sale of the relevant interest and the grant of a long lease for a premium out of the relevant interest.

Published 4 December 2014
Last updated 10 October 2016 + show all updates
  1. Guidance updated to advise investors if they receive more than €500,000 a year in state aid, certain details will be published on the European Commission website.

  2. First published.