Alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment licences

This page gives you information about the Licensing Act 2003 and the legal requirements. You will find links to pages that detail to the different types of licenses. You will also find application forms, information about any application fee and any necessary conditions that must be met. You can apply for many of our licenses on-line.

The Licensing Act 2003

Under the Licensing Act 2003 an authorisation is required when you provide or offer licensable activities. Licensable activities are defined as:

  • The sale or supply of alcohol
  • The provision of regulated entertainment
  • The provision of late night refreshment

The sale or supply of alcohol includes both on-sales (pubs, bars, restaurants), and off-sales (off-licences, supermarkets, convenience stores) as well as registered clubs (where alcohol is supplied).

In addition to requiring a premises licence for the sale of alcohol, individuals may also be required to obtain a personal licence.

The provision of regulated entertainment is defined as any of the following activities that takes place in the presence of an audience for the entertainment of that audience and are provided with a view to profit:

  • Boxing or wrestling (this does not include Greco-Roman or Freestyle wrestling)
  • An exhibition of a film (this does not include live feed television i.e. sporting events)
  • Adult entertainment (for example lap-dancing)
  • Playing of recorded music
    • Between 11pm and 8am
    • At any time when the audience numbers are over 500 people
  • Unamplified live music
    • Between 11pm and 8am
  • Amplified live music (including karaoke):
    • Between 11pm and 8am
    • At any time when the audience numbers are over 500 people
  • Performance of dance
    • Between 11pm and 8am
    • At any time when the audience numbers are over 500 people
  • Performance of a play
    • Between 11pm and 8am
    • At any time when the audience numbers are over 500 people
  • Indoor Sporting Events
    • Between 11pm and 8am
    • At any time when the audience numbers are over 1000 people

The provision of late night refreshment is the sale of hot food and/or hot (non-alcoholic) drink whether for consumption on or off the premises (this includes mobile units and stalls) to the public between 11pm and 5am. This includes takeaways, restaurants and petrol stations that sell hot food.

Authorisation to carry out some or all of these licensable activities is contained in a single premises licence, club premises certificate or temporary event notice. This is issued by the licensing authority and authorises the premises or location where the activity is to take place. These licences may be permanent, for a limited period, or for one-off events.

Permissions under the Licensing Act 2003

Temporary Event Notices

A Temporary Event Notice can be used to authorise small-scale events on a one-off or occasional basis involving no more than 499 persons. They can be used to carry out activities at unlicensed premises such as community, school and charity fundraising events. They may also be used to increase the scope of the licence at existing licensed premises such as allowing additional activities or to extend the hours of existing activities.

Premises Licences

A Premises Licence is a permanent licence, granted in respect of a specific location, which authorises the licence holder to carry on any of the above mentioned licensable activities. Unless a limited duration is specified in the application, a premises licence will be valid indefinitely, unless revoked. An annual fee is payable on the anniversary of the grant of each licence.

Personal Licences

A Personal Licence authorises individuals to supervise the sale of alcohol where a premises licence is in force.

Club Premises Certificates

A Club Premises Certificate is a specific type of licence, only available to members clubs. They can be used to carry on any of the above mentioned licensable activities.

Key Measures in the Licensing Act 2003

Licensing Objectives

The Licensing Act 2003 requires the Licensing Authority to uphold four equally important licensing objectives when carrying out it's licensing functions, these are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder: for example drug-related problems, disorder, drunkenness and anti-social behaviour
  • Public safety: the physical safety of people using the venue
  • The prevention of public nuisance: for example noise from music, litter and light pollution
  • The protection of children from harm: including moral, psychological and physical harm

Raising representations or seeking a review

Residents, businesses and legal authorities (for example the police or the councils noise team) are able to raise representations for or against new applications and applications to vary premises licence and club premises certificates. They can also seek the review of a licensed premises if it is causing problems. We will also investigate complaints relating to licensed and unlicensed premises.

Raising representations or seeking a review

Statement of Licensing Policy

Under the Licensing Act 2003 licensing authorities are required to publish a Licensing Policy. This statement of policy sets out the general approach to the making of licensing decisions.

Statement of Licensing Policy

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