Department for Culture Media and Sport

alcohol & entertainment

We are responsible for developing entertainment licensing law, which licensing authorities administer.

The Prime Minister announced on 20 July 2010 that responsibility for the Licensing Act 2003, except for regulated entertainment is being transferred to the Home Office. Content on this site is being reviewed. Information on licensing policy will be moved to the Home Office website in due course.

The full Written Ministerial Statement is available on the Number 10 website.

Licensing authorities, usually local councils, are responsible for licensing the sale and supply of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment and the provision of late night refreshment in England and Wales. They also issue licences for permitted temporary activities.

To carry out these activities, you will need authorisation and should speak to your local council.

Read guidance for:

We also keep data about alcohol, entertainment and late-night refreshment licensing.


Amended guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003

Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 provides that the Secretary of State must issue and, from time to time, may revise guidance to licensing authorities on the discharge of their functions under the act.  Amended guidance is published on the Home Office website. [13 October 2010]

Public consultation on overhaul of the Act

On 28th July, the Home Secretary launched a consultation on a wide range of options to overhaul the Licensing Act.

‘Rebalancing the Licensing Act – a consultation on empowering individuals, families and local communities to shape and determine local licensing’ can be found on the Home Office website.

Designated Premises requirement

The requirement to apply to replace the requirement to have a Designated Premises Supervisor with a Management Committee is in effect from 29 July 2009. Copies of the Designated Premises Supervisor application form are available online.

Minor Variations process

The Minor Variations process is in effect from 29 July 2009. An application costs £89. Copies of the Minor Variations application form are available online.

Important note

The contents of these pages are provided as guidance only and do not constitute professional or legal advice. Statements on these pages do not replace, extend, amend or alter in any way the statutory provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 or any subordinate legislation made under it or statutory guidance issued in relation to it. No responsibility is accepted by the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport or the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for any errors, omissions or misleading statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages connect. Although DCMS has made every effort to ensure that the information in these pages is correct, changes in the law and the nature of implementation mean that the information in these pages cannot be guaranteed as accurate. Please see also the DCMS website terms and conditions

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