Theatre Licence

Any person operating premises where they intend to use it for public performance of any play require to be licensed by the Local Authority. This is a requirement under the Theatres Act 1968.

Completing your application

How to apply

You can download an application form here


There is an application fee of £198.85 which must be paid at the time an application is made.

  • If you are sending us your application, you can send a cheque for the fee made payable to Argyll and Bute Council to:

Contact us

You can contact us using our online enquiry form

By post at:

Argyll and Bute Council
Regulatory Services
PA31 8RT

Or phone: 01546 605519

Eligibility Criteria

You must apply for a licence prior to operating and using the premises for performing a play. This will allow us to consider whether the licence is required or if exemptions may apply. The licence, if approved, will specify conditions relating to the capacity of the premises, the facilities and standards, and aspects relating to public safety. There will also be requirements for stewarding and use of trained staff.

Licencing Conditions: Argyll and Bute Council have standard conditions for theatre licences although there may be additional conditions applied relating to the specific premises of activities.

The Application Process

Receipt of your completed application form and the appropriate fee will be confirmed in writing, and an unannounced licensing inspection carried out before your licence is issued. If you have not heard from us within 14 days, please contact us.
Before being granted a licence, your premises will be inspected to assess standards within the premises and to discuss your proposals. We will also consult formally with Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.

Objections and Appeals

If you have been refused a licence or do not agree with the licence conditions imposed you may appeal to the Sheriff. They may give directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it sees fit.
Appeals against the refusal of an application must be made to the Sheriff Principal of North Strathclyde, Paisley Sheriff Court, St James Street, Paisley, PA3 2AW.

If you do not have a licence or do not comply with any of the conditions, you may be prosecuted, fined up to £5000 and/or imprisoned for up to 3 months, or both.

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the service provider by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in Scotland, Advice Direct Scotland will give you advice or you can contact us directly. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other complaints

If you wish to complain about the welfare of the animals, nuisance caused by the operation of the theatre etc. or are one licence holder wishing to complain about another please contact us.

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