Public Entertainment Licence

Changes to public entertainment licences
from 1st April 2012

Licence summary
A Public Entertainment Licence is required for the use of premises as a place of public entertainment,

Eligibility Criteria    
A “place of public entertainment” means any place where members of the public are admitted or may use any facilities for the purposes of entertainment or recreation. 

A Public Entertainment Licence is not required for the following:

  1. An athletic or sports ground while being used as such;
  2. Premises in respect of which a licence is required under section 41A of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (indoor sports entertainment licence) while such premises are being used for the purposes mentioned in that section;
  3. An educational establishment while being used as such;
  4. Premises belonging to or occupied by any religious body while being used wholly or mainly for the purpose connected with that body;
  5. Premises under the Theatres Act 1968 (Section 1 of the Cinemas Act 1985;
  6. Premises in respect of which there is a club gaming permit (within the meaning of section 271 of the Gambling Act 2005), or a prize gaming permit (within the meaning of section 289 of that Act of 2005);
  7. Licensed premises in respect of which a premises licence within the meaning of section 17 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 has effect;
  8. Premises in which machines for entertainment or amusement are being provided incidentally to the main purpose or use of the premises where that main purpose or use is not as a place of public entertainment. 

If the application is for entertainment that will be mainly or wholly on the premises you must display a public notice detailing your application, in a public place at or near the premises for 21 days from the date the application is submitted. The notice must contain details relating to the application, where objections and representations can be made and how the objections and representations can be made.

If you are required to place a notice you must supply the licensing authority with a certificate confirming you have complied with the requirement.

Voluntary / Charitable organisations

A guide for Voluntary / Charitable organisations

Regulation Summary         
A summary of the regulation relating to this licence

Application Evaluation Process   
Applications must:

  • be in writing (including by electronic means)
  • be signed by the applicant (including by electronic means)
  • contain the applicant's name and address, and those of any employee who will manage the activity on a day-to-day basis, and the area in which the activity is to be carried out
  • include the remittance fee

The local authority will:

  • send a copy of the application to the Chief Constable
  • send a copy of the application to the Officer in Charge of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue specific to the area of trade
  • place a notice within the local authority office (for the area the applicant wishes to trade) notice board which states the premises and applicant details contained in the application, that any objections or representations may be made to the local authority, and how such representations should be made
  • keep a register of applications in which they will enter the details of the receipt of the application, their final decision and reasons for the decision, the details of the terms of each licence granted and a note of any suspension, variation of the terms, or surrender, of a licence

The register must be available for inspection by any member of the public at reasonable times and places and any member of the public must be permitted to make a copy of it.  A fee will be required for this service.

If the entertainment is to be carried out mainly or wholly in premises, the application must also contain either of the following:

  • A declaration that you will display a notice at the premises for 21 days, which contains the details in your licence application and details on how to make representations regarding the application. This should be followed by a certificate to the licensing authority stating that this requirement has been complied with.
  • A letter of consent from the premises/landowner confirming that they give permission for the premises/land to be used in such a manner.

Where the local authority fails to make a decision within six months of the application, the licence is held to be granted or renewed.

Will Tacit Consent Apply? 
No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below

Apply online 
You can apply online:
Public Entertainment Licence Online

If you prefer, you can also download the forms:

Public Entertainment licence - application for new licence

Public Entertainment licence - renewal

Application for amendment to an existing licence

Schedule of conditions for public entertainment licences

Contact details

Telephone: 01546 604128 or licensing@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Failed Application Redress

(if you have made an application for a license and it has been refused)
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

Within 21 days of the date of the decision to refuse their application, the applicant may require the licence authority to give the reasons for their decision.

The applicant may appeal to the sheriff against the decision, within 28 days of the decision, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.

The appeal will only be successful if the sheriff considers that the local authority, in making their decision, had:

  • erred in law
  • based their decision on an incorrect material fact
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • exercised their discretion in an unreasonable manner

The applicant may then appeal on a point of law from the sheriff's decision to the Court of Session within 28 days from the date of the sheriff’s decision.

Licence Holder Redress    
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

If the local authority decides to suspend a licence, not to renew a licence, or not to consent to material changes to the premises or vehicle used in the course of a licence holder's work, the licence holder may appeal against the decision within 28 days of being notified, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.

The appeal will only be successful if the sheriff considers that the local authority, in making their decision, had:

  • erred in law
  • based their decision on an incorrect material fact
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • exercised their discretion in an unreasonable manner

The licence holder may then appeal on a point of law from the sheriff's decision to the Court of Session within 28 days from the date of the sheriff’s decision.

Other Redress - Objections or representations         

Objections or representations relating to a licence application may be made in writing to the local authority, within 28 days of notice of the licence application being given, stating:

  • the grounds of the objection or nature of the representation
  • the name and address of the person making the representation

A chief constable, or anyone who has made a relevant objection or representation regarding the licence, may appeal against a decision within 28 days of being notified, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.

The appeal will only be successful if the sheriff considers that the local authority, in making their decision, had:

  • erred in law
  • based their decision on an incorrect material fact
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • exercised their discretion in an unreasonable manner