Types of alcohol licence
There are different types of alcohol licence available under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005:
- A premises licence allows for the sale of alcohol on the premises. This is for both on-sales and off-sales.
- A Personal Licence authorises a person aged 18 or over to supervise or authorise the sale of alcohol.
- An Occasional Licence is required if you want to sell alcohol from unlicensed premises in Scotland.
- Licensed premises can apply for extended hours to sell alcohol during hours that are outwith its core hours.
To view all current Board and Occasional Licence applications see Tell Me Scotland - follow the link and add postcode on left to see specific areas
Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005The Act sets out 5 Licensing Objectives. These represent the principles on which the licensing system is based and provide Licensing Boards with a solid foundation on which to build their own local policies. These objectives are not ranked in order of importance. Each has equal weighting and all must be paramount considerations when Licensing Boards are carrying out their responsibilities.
These 5 Objectives are:
- Preventing crime and disorder
- Securing public safety
- Preventing public nuisance
- Protecting and improving public health
- Protecting children from harm
A premises licence is required to sell alcohol on the premises. This is for both on-sales and off-sales. Premises are no longer categorised into pubs, hotels, and restaurant licences. Instead, all premises have the same sort of licence, known as a premises licence.
Different premises will attract a different fee, and these can be viewed here. Payments can only be made by BACS (cheques not excepted)
You must be 18 years old or older to make a premises licence application. The application must include a description of the premises, an operating plan, and a layout plan.
The Licensing Board strongly encourages all applicants to submit, along with their application, a written statement tailored to their premises setting out how they intend to conform to and promote the licensing objectives, paying particular attention to the locality in which the premises are situated and the activities to be carried out.
- Each premise must have a Designated Premises Manager who must hold a personal licence
- An individual may not, at any one time, be the premises manager of more than one licensed premises
- If the Designated Premises Manager leaves the premises, the premises licence holder has 7 days in which to notify the Licensing Board and 6 weeks to nominate a new premises manager
- Failure to nominate will result in the premises no longer being able to sell alcohol
Variation to a Premises Licence
You must apply to the Board to vary your premises licence if you want to make any changes. Under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, there can be either major or minor variations to a licence.
Major Variations includes varying:
- Any of the conditions of the licence;
- Any information contained in the operating plan;
- The layout plan; or
- Any other information contained or referred to in the licence.
The cost of a major variation is £200, and an application form can be viewed here. Payments can only be made by BACS (cheques not excepted)
Minor Variations includes varying:
- Any variation of the layout plan that does not make it inconsistent with the operating plan;
- Restricting children and young persons access to the premises; or
- A change to the Designated Premises Manager
The cost of a minor variation is £20. The cost of varying the Designated Premises Manager is £31. Payments can only be made by BACS (cheques not excepted)
Premises wishing to submit a minor variation application please complete the online application. You can also download the Minor Variation - Change of Designated Premises Manager Application form.
Please read the Privacy Notice before completing the form.
A personal licence authorises a person aged 18 or over to supervise or authorise the sale of alcohol. There is a requirement for every personal licence applicant to be trained to a national standard and produce a training certificate with their application form.
The fee for a personal licence is £50. An application form should be submitted along with 2 passport-style photographs and a copy of a passed training certificate. Applications should be returned to us.
To get into contact with us the licensing office please email email@example.com or 01786 233612
Personal Licence Holder Qualification
When selling alcohol on licensed premises, the sale must be authorised by a personal licence holder. The premises manager must also possess a personal licence. In many premises, other members of staff also have personal licence qualifications so that they can authorise sales in the absence of the premises manager.
The holder of a personal licence must undergo refresher training to ensure their licence remains valid, and they must produce evidence that they have undergone this refresher course, to the Licensing Board that they originally produced their personal licence holder certificate to, within 5 years of achieving their licence (with a three month grace period).
- If licence holders do not renew their licences within this period, their licences will be revoked
- If the premises manager has their licence revoked then the sale of alcohol will no longer be permitted on their premises
- If personal licence holders who are not premises managers have their licence revoked, they will no longer be allowed to authorise sales in the absence of the premises manager
Personal Licence Renewal Period
Your application for renewal must be submitted 3 months before the expiry date on your licence, this means that your application must be received by the Licensing Department before this date.
Failure to lodge the application by this date means that the Licensing Board will not be able to renew your licence and your licence will cease to affect.
The fee for this application is £50 and the application should be returned as soon as possible to allow time for it to be processed by the expiry date of your licence.
As part of the renewal process, you are required to undergo refresher training and provide the updated certificate with your application. Failure to provide this certificate with your application will mean the Licensing Board are unable to accept your application and it will be returned to you, meaning that your application may not be lodged in time and your licence could cease to have effect.
Where an application for renewal of a personal licence is made to the Board, and the Board has not determined the application before the date of expiry of the licence, the licence will continue for a period of six months from the date of expiry of the licence.
Applications for renewal can be lodged from 12 months before the expiry date of the licence to one day before the licence expires.
If you are unable to take a refresher training course for a reason related to the Coronavirus crisis, please contact the licensing office on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01786 233612. Licence holders are encouraged to explore options for undertaking the training online where face-to-face courses are not safe or practicable.
Payments can only be made by BACS (cheques not excepted)
An occasional licence allows you to sell alcohol within unlicensed premises at an event or special occasion. Selling alcohol without a proper licence can result in a fine of up to £20,000, or a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both.
The cost of an occasional licence is £10. 28 days notice is required to process an application.
You can apply for an occasional licence if:
- You are from a voluntary organisation;
- You hold a premises licence; or
- You hold a personal licence to sell alcohol
There are limits on occasional licences that can be applied for by voluntary organisations and clubs. In any period of 12 months there can be:
- No more than 4 occasional licences within a duration of 4 days or more;
- No more than 12 occasional licences with a duration of fewer than 4 days; and
- The 12 month total cannot exceed 56 days.
A voluntary organisation can only have an occasional licence for an event taking place in connection with its activities.
An occasional licence is only available where the premises are not already licensed for the sale of alcohol (except that a club may apply for a licence for its own premises).
Notification of the application is required to remain on the website for a continuous period of 7 days. Police Scotland can give notice recommending refusal of the application within 21 days of receipt of the application. The Licensing Standards Officer may submit a report with their comments on the application within 21 days of receipt of the application.
Any person may object to an occasional licence application within the period of 7 days starting on the day when details are published on the website.
If the Licensing Board receives notice of an objection or representation, they will send a copy of the notice to the applicant and have regard to the objection or representation when considering the application at a hearing. The Licensing Board may reject an objection or representation if it is frivolous or vexatious.
The Licensing Board will grant the application if it does not receive any objection or representation.
If any of the following happen, an application may take longer than 28 days as it will be considered at a meeting of the Licensing Board:
- There are objections or representations; or
- There are any comments from the Police or LSO; or
- The applicant wants to change the Standard Conditions (the Board cannot change the Schedule 4 Conditions)
To view, all current Occasional Licence applications see Tell Me Scotland - follow the link and add postcode on left to see specific areas.
You need to apply for extended hours to your premises licence if you wish to sell alcohol during hours that are outwith your current core hours. An applicant must satisfy the Board that their application relates to either:
- A special event or occasion to be catered for on the premises
- A special event of local or national significance
The fee for an extended hours application is £10.
Extended hours have effect for the period granted by the Licensing Board. It is important to note that extended hours are for ad hoc occasions and that any events or occasions that take place regularly on your premises should be incorporated within your operating plan.
The Board will consider the nature of any "special event or occasion" on its own merits, and the onus is on the applicant to show the Board why the event requires extended hours. The Board will not normally grant extended hours for the type of entertainment listed within the operating plan for the premises.
The Board will look favourably on applications for extended hours for the following dates (although this is not an exhaustive list):
- Easter Weekend;
- May and Spring Bank Holidays (first and last Sunday in May);
- Freshers and Re-freshers Week (1 week in September and 1 week in January respectively);
- Halloween (the Board will take into account whether Halloween falls on a weekend and if it does not in any year, the Board may look favourably on applications for extensions on the weekend closest to Halloween);
- Patron saints' days, if the premises can demonstrate that they are hosting an event or entertainment in connection with that date.
|£40||Lotteries / Raffles (grant of)|
|£20||Lotteries / raffles (renewal)|
(Alcohol) Licensing Scotland Act 2005
|£10||Occasional Licence (eg 21st party at unlicensed premises)|
|£50||Personal Licence (to authorise the sale of alcohol, requires training)|
|£20||Duplicate Personal Licence|
|£20||Change of details for Personal Licence|
|£50||Duplicate Premises Licence|
|£200||Temporary Premises Licence|
Licensing Board Members
The Board is made up of 8 elected members.
- Councillor Danny Gibson (Chair)
- Councillor Douglas Dodds (Vice-Chair)
- Councillor Maureen Bennison
- Councillor Martin Earl
- Councillor Graham Houston
- Councillor Ross Oxburgh
- Councillor Jim Thomson
- Councillor Alasdair Tollemache
Information on the Licensing Board's Policy Statement can be viewed here.
Attending a Licensing Board Meeting
All Board meetings are held in public and anyone may attend. It is only possible to speak about a particular application being considered by the Board if you have made a written submission about the application (whether in favour or against it), and have submitted this in time for consideration by the Board.
The Board considers each application on the agenda in turn. The Board will usually hear from:
- Police Scotland
- The Licensing Standards Officers.
The Board will also hear from anyone who has made a written submission objecting to or supporting the application, and from the applicant(and/or their agent).
Once a decision has been made you can leave the meeting and you will be formally notified by the Clerk’s office of the decision within 7 days. The decision of the Board has immediate effect.
The Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) is a new creation from the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. The LSO has a wide ranging remit, but the 2005 Act sets out three general functions:
- To provide interested persons with information and guidance concerning the operation of the 2005 Act;
- To supervise compliance by the holders of premises and occasional licences; and
- To provide mediation to avoid or resolve disputes and disagreements between premises and occasional licence holders and any other persons.
The LSO has a statutory right to enter and inspect licensed premises for the purpose of determining whether the activities on the premises are being carried out in accordance with the 2005 Act.
You can get into contact with the licensing office on email@example.com or calling 01786 233612.
The Statement will have effect from 1 November 2018 and will be reviewed prior to 1 November 2023.
There are two main purposes of this Statement of Policy. The first is to set out how the Board will deal with its business in relation to applications for licences, hearings, licence reviews and complaints. Secondly, it sets standards that it expects licensed premises and licensees to meet. Taken together these two purposes are intended to describe how the Board considers the licensing objectives set out in the Act can be met, in light of local circumstances in the Board’s area. It provides a framework within which the Board, licensed premises and other licensees are required to operate
The Policy also includes a statement of the extent to which the Board considers there to be overprovision of licensed premises or overprovision of licensed premises of a particular description, in either case in any locality within the area of the Board.
The Boards of Statement of Licencing Policy can be viewed here
Members of the public can object or make representations about a proposed or an existing alcohol licence. Any person is eligible to object.
Anyone wishing to object or make representations must lodge with the Clerk of the Licensing Board a written notice of objection or representation by the last date for lodging objection/representations as contained in the notice of application on the Council’s Website or the Site Notice at the Premises. It is the responsibility of the person making the objection or representation to ensure that the Board has received it and it may be helpful to lodge it in one of the following ways:
- Delivered by hand within the time specified
- Posted (by registered or recorded or special delivery post) so that in the normal course of post it might be expected to be delivered within that time
- Emailed within that time and an acknowledgement of the email is kept
- Faxed within that time and an acknowledgement of the fax is kept
It is the responsibility of the person making the objection or representation to ensure that the Board has received it. Download the Objections & Representations form here.
The Licensing Board has published the following reports confirming its commitment to meeting its equality responsibilities.
Last updated: Monday, January 31, 2022 5:02 PM