Licensing Act 2003

We are responsible for licensing the sale and supply of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment and the provision of late night refreshment. If you are carrying on any of these activities, you will need a licence.

Our licensing policy explains how we intend to carry out our functions under the Licensing Act 2003.

Purpose and aims

The overall aim of the legislation is to modernise previous laws governing the sale and supply of alcohol, provision of late night refreshment and public entertainment so that:

  • previous pieces of legislation are brought under a single Act;
  • licensing decisions are made according to local considerations;
  • licensing hours are deregulated

A licence is required for both the premises and individuals and licensees will be able to choose what criteria they wish to have included on the premises licence and what hours they wish to operate. Both licensing authorities and personal licence holders must perform their duties according to the four 'licensing objectives' contained in the Act. These are:

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

Whether you're a publican, the owner of a corner shop that sells alcohol products, a provider of entertainment or a late night food takeaway owner, you will need to be licensed.

If you require further information about the Licensing Act 2003, you can contact us or view the Act and associated explanatory notes online.

Page last updated: 08 February 2019
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