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Licensing Act 2003

Licensing Authorities must perform their duties according to the four 'licensing objectives' contained in the Licensing Act 2003 (Section 4).

These are:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • the protection of children from harm
  • the prevention of public nuisance

Licensable activities

There are four 'licensable activities' contained within the Act (Section 1):

  • the sale of alcohol by retail
  • the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of a club
  • the provision of regulated entertainment
  • the provision of late night refreshment ('late night refreshment' is where hot food or drink is supplied to members of the public, on, or from any premises, whether for consumption on or off the premises between the hours of 11.00pm and 5.00am)

Types of licences

  • Personal licence - a 'portable' licence granted to an individual enabling him/her to sell alcohol at a premises licensed for the sale of alcohol
  • Premises licence - a licence granted to a specific premises which specifies the nature of the licensable activity and any applicable conditions
  • Club premises certificate - a licence granting 'qualifying club' status to specific premises, according to qualifying conditions, including the provision that there are at least 25 members and that alcohol is only supplied by or on behalf of the club
  • Temporary Event Notice - permits specified licensable activities for a restricted period (maximum 168 hours) - see Part 5, Section 107 of the Act for details of further limitations
  • Provisional Statement - an 'interim statement' regarding the provision of a premises licence, where the premises has not yet been built and provides the investors with some degree of certainty as to the future use of the premises

Key exemptions in the Licensing Act

  • Place of Worship (Schedule 1, Part 2 Exemptions) - Premises such as churches do not require a premises licence for activities which would otherwise be classified as 'regulated entertainment'
  • Garden Fêtes, etc. (Schedule 1, Part 2 Exemptions) - Entertainment provided at a garden fête, or similar event, is not 'regulated entertainment' and therefore doesn't require a licence

Live music at premises

Live music is no longer a licensable activity providing the following conditions are met:

  • live music is unamplified in all venues
  • amplified live music is before an audience of no more than 200 people on premises authorised to supply alcohol for consumption on the premises
  • amplified live music is taking place before an audience of no more than 200 people in workplaces not licensed under the Licensing Act 2003
  • the music event must only take place between the hours of 8.00am and 11.00pm

'Operating schedules'

An 'operating schedule' is required as part of a premises licence/club premises certificate application.

The key details on the 'operating schedule' should state:

  • which licensable activities are planned to take place on the premises and when
  • other times when the public will be present on the premises
  • who the designated premises supervisor is
  • the steps the licence holder will take to promote the licensing objectives

Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS)

A Designated Premises Supervisor must hold a personal licence and is the person specified on the premises licence responsible for authorising the supply of alcohol.

This person must be readily identifiable and will normally be given day to day responsibility for running the premises.

Licensing Act regulations and statutory guidance

Visit the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website for useful information on:

  • Licensing Act regulations
  • Statutory guidance
  • Regulatory Impact Assessment (which is part of the Licensing Act)

Fire safety guidance

Visit the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue website for fire safety guidance and legislation for businesses.

Refer to their guidance on setting a safe occupancy figure when completing your fire safety risk assessment.

Also see

Licensing Services

Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York, YO10 3DS

Telephone: 01904 552422