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Licensing Act 2003 overview

What is the Licensing Act 2003 and what does it cover?

The Licensing Act 2003 (opens new window) combines the licensing of the sale of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment and the provision of late-night refreshment.

The following are licensable under the act:

  • The retail sale of alcohol (including via the internet, telephone or mail order);
  • The supply of alcohol to members of a club;
  • The provision of late night refreshment (hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am);
  • The provision of regulated entertainment in the presence of an audience, which includes:
    • performance of a play;
    • film exhibitions;
    • indoor sporting events;
    • boxing or wrestling events (both indoor and outdoor);
    • performing live music;
    • playing recorded music;
    • dance performances;
    • entertainment of similar descriptions to live music, recorded music or dance.

There are various types of licence available under the Act, please see the related pages and links below for further information. 

The Act provides a clear focus on the promotion of four statutory objectives which must be addressed when licensing functions are undertaken. 

The licensing objectives are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder;
  • Public safety;
  • The prevention of public nuisance;  and
  • The protection of children from harm. 

Each objective is of equal importance. The promotion of the four objectives is a paramount consideration at all times. 

Licences available under the Licensing Act 2003

Statement of Licensing Policy

Statement of Licensing Policy 2019-2024 (PDF) [700KB] (opens new window)

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