Changes in Argyll and Bute to Public Entertainment Licenses

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Published Date: 

19 Jun 2012 - 16:05

Argyll and Bute Council has taken the opportunity to look again at its scale of charges for Public Entertainment Licences in a move which recognises and supports the considerable voluntary and charitable work undertaken by individuals and community organisations across Argyll and Bute.

Coinciding with a change in legislation which came into effect from 1st April 2012, which requires the licensing of all public entertainment venues the council‘s decision will be welcomed by organisers and groups across Argyll and Bute, as it addresses their concerns over the former costs of public entertainment licences.

In Argyll and Bute a public entertainment licence is required for a range of activities and events where numbers of the public are invited to come together, such as dances, theatrical and video performances and musical concerts. Other less commonly held events may also need a licence, but events like school galas or fetes, coffee mornings or art exhibitions do not need a licence, nor does any event held in premises which hold a licence for the sale of alcohol.(See attached note for a fuller list).

On Thursday 14 June 2012 the council agreed that the following scale of charges:

  1. There will be no fee for a licence for a  “free to enter” event(s) held by a voluntary or charitable organisation,


  1. The following will apply to applications for a licence for  “charge for entry” events held by a voluntary or charitable organisation (includes where donations are sought from/made by patrons)

-          No fee for a licence which covers no more than two events held in any year    

-          Where a licence is sought for additional events, a licence fee of £40 will be payable for each event held thereafter


IMPORTANTLY, the Council decided that these new licence fees will, however, be waived until 2013.


Chair of the Planning Protective Services and Licensing Committee (PPSL) Councillor Sandy Taylor said “The decisions made will provide clarity regarding public entertainment licence fees. The council will produce a guidance leaflet which clarifies which activities require to be licensed, and more importantly which do not.  The council will monitor the charges agreed for voluntary and charitable organisations over the next year and there will be a report to members in May 2013 on the impact of these changes.”




Note(s) to Editor:

  1. The normal fee for a three year licence is £440 and the fee for a temporary licence which can last for a period or 6 weeks or less is £125.


  1. Any activity which falls into the following categories needs a licence even if there is no charge
  • Concerts
  • Theatrical Performances
  • Fairgrounds
  • Circuses
  • Leisure Centres with audience accommodation
  • Dancing, discotheques or roller disco
  • Ice rinks with audience accommodation
  • Boxing, wrestling, judo or similar
  • Snooker or billiard halls
  • Amusement Arcades

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