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Overview of the licensing Act 2003

A single 'premises licence' (for public activities) or a 'club premises certificate' (for private members clubs) can now authorise any combination of the following activities:

  • Supply of alcohol
  • Plays
  • Films
  • Music (both live and recorded) and dancing activities
  • Late night refreshment (hot food or hot drink between 11pm and 5am)

There is also a system of 'temporary event notices' (TENS) for premises and events not covered by a permanent licence. Limitations apply as to how TENS may be used.

In addition, a premises (not including private members clubs) licensed for the supply of alcohol must specify an individual as the 'designated premises supervisor' (DPS) who must hold a personal licence. Every supply of alcohol on licensed premises must be authorised by a personal licence holder.

However, there is now an optional disapplication from these usual requirements, upon application, for qualifying community premises. This can allow a management committee as a body to take responsibility for authorising the supply of alcohol under the licence.

The Licensing Act 2003 is a complex and rapidly evolving area of law and whilst every effort is made to maintain the accuracy and currency of the information accessible via these webpages, it does not nor is it intended to constitute authoritative legal advice. You should contact your own legal adviser if you need specific advice. Ultimately the Courts are responsible for interpretation of the law.