Alcohol and entertainment
If you are supplying or selling alcohol, food and entertainment you will need a licence to comply with the Licensing Act 2003.
Under the Licensing Act 2003 you can apply for:
- premises licences
- club premises certificates
- personal licences (associated with the sale of alcohol)
- temporary event notices (for occasional events involving less than 500 people)
- premises licences and club premises certificates (additional information)
- minor variations to premises licences and club premises certificates
- objecting to licensing conditions and applications
We (Derby City Council) are the licensing authority for issuing these licences. We have a Licensing Policy which explains our licensing.
The Licensing Policy is valid until March 2025.
The Licensing Act 2003 requires us to review our policy every five years.
The are four 'licensing objectives' of the Licensing Act 2003 which are:
- the prevention of crime and disorder
- public safety
- the prevention of public nuisance
- the protection of children from harm.
Under the Licensing Act 2003 you will need a licence for 'licensable activities'. These are to:
- sell or supply of alcohol
- provide entertainment or entertainment facilities - known as 'regulated entertainment'
- sell hot food or drinks between 11pm and 5am - known as 'late night refreshments'.
You need a licence to:
- sell alcohol, including in wholesale quantities to the public
- supply alcohol to members of a club.
Regulated entertainment and entertainment facilities
If carried out in front of an audience, you will need a licence for:
- performance of a play. For more information please view the Plays section.
- exhibition of a film
- indoor sport. As defined in the Licensing Act 2003, an ‘indoor sporting event’ is a sporting event which takes place wholly inside a building, and at which the spectators present at the event are accommodated wholly inside that building. A ‘sporting event’ means any contest, exhibition or display of any sport and ‘sport’ includes any game in which physical skill is the predominant factor and any form of physical recreation which is also engaged in for purposes of competition or display. It is not the activity that is licensable it is for the protection of the audience at the event, for example: health and safety.
- boxing wrestling fighting sports entertainment or which combines boxing/wrestling with one or mixed martial arts/cagefighting style events (except Olympics-style Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling). For more information please view the Boxing Wrestling and Fighting Sports section.
- live and recorded music - please view the information within the live and recorded music section
- performance of dance
- any similar entertainment to that of live music, recorded music or dance.
There are certain exemptions in regard to some activities. Please see the section - Exemptions for premises licences and club premises certificates.
Late night refreshment
You need a licence to provide hot food or hot drink between 11pm and 5am. Premises could include mobile food sellers, such as a burger van.
5,000 or more people attending
The question on the application form concerning the number of people attending the premises at any one time is necessary to determine whether an additional fee for large events should apply. It it not necessary to complete this box if you think that less than 5,000 people will attend the premises at any one time. The figure relates to the maximum number of people on the licensed premises, including employees, at any one time – not the total number over a period of time. It is important to note that the attendance figure relates to the 'licensed premises' (for example, the licensed area identified in the plan) and not areas that are outside the 'licensed premises’. If you decide that the number will not exceed 5,000, you will be responsible for ensuring that the numbers at any one time do not exceed this figure. If you do exceed it, you could be engaging in an unlicensed activity, which is a criminal offence.
Do I have to issue everyone a ticket to prove the numbers on the premises?
It is for you to decide when putting your application together whether you need arrangements for counting the numbers coming in or out. However, it is an offence to make a false declaration in the application, which could lead to a £5,000 fine.
I run a country show which has a beer tent. Do I have to put the total number of people at the show in this section?
It depends whether you are licensing the whole premises. As most of the events at such a show are not licensable activities, it should be possible to simply licence the beer tent. In this case, the capacity of the beer tent is what counts and this may be unlikely to trigger the additional fee for large events.
Should I include my beer garden on my premises licence?
That is for you to decide. In doing so, you will want to consider whether you might want to use the garden at some point in the future to sell alcohol – perhaps an outdoor bar at a barbecue or possibly through waited drinks service. Also, if you do not include the garden as part of the licensed premises, drinks that are bought to be consumed there will count as off supplies and any conditions that relate to off sales would apply. If the beer garden is being provided for consumption of off-supplies, you must include a description of where the place is and its proximity to the premises.
What are combined fighting sports?
The description of combined fighting sports is a contest, exhibition or display which combines boxing or wrestling with one or more martial arts which includes cage fighting.
Will I need to apply to have combined fighting sports on my licence or will it be done automatically by the licensing authority?
If your current authorisation (premises licence or club premises certificate) already allows you to hold a contest, exhibition or display of combined fighting sports, you can carry on doing so under the terms of that authorisation. No further action needs to be taken by you or by us.
Will we need to re-issue licences to include combined fighting sports?
No. Currently, combined fighting sports may be authorised under the Licensing Act 2003 as either ‘indoor sporting event’ or as ‘boxing or wrestling entertainment’. To the extent that an existing authorisation allows combined fighting sports, the licence will be treated as continuing to allow combined fighting sports, notwithstanding their reclassification.
Will the addition of combined fighting sports on a premises licence or club premises certificate that already include boxing and wrestling add extra conditions?
Yes, possibly. Where an existing authorisation does not cover combined fighting sports, you will need to apply to us to vary your licence. The application may be granted, possibly subject to the imposition of conditions relevant to combined fighting sports events.
Does this mean that people who have boxing and wrestling on a premises licence or club premises certificate can hold a contest, exhibition or display of combined fighting sports?
No. You can only do that if your authorisation currently extends to combined fighting sports. The only way by which this will have occurred is if your application for an authorisation made reference to combined fighting sports and was granted.
What is recorded music?
Recorded music activities amount mainly to discos and DJ events – where the audience is there primarily to be entertained by the music activity.
Why is live music allowed in workplaces but not recorded music?
As recorded music events are easily portable, they have, in the past, been more prone to noise and public order problems.
Will this allow raves?
No. Recorded music activities (usually disco and DJ events) will only be deregulated in the following places (between 08.00 and 23.00):
- In premises with an alcohol licence (unless this has been precluded by a licence condition).
- In events organised by local authorities, schools, nurseries or hospitals or in ‘community premises’
What if a recorded music event is noisy?
Other legislation is already in place which gives powers to us and the police to deal with issues, arising from a problem event.
What is the definition of a workplace in relation to regulated entertainment?
The term is defined in the workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and is, broadly speaking, any non-domestic place where someone works.
What is the definition of a play?
A play is defined in the Licensing Act 2003 as a performance (including a rehearsal) of any dramatic piece, whether involving improvisation or not, which is given wholly or in part by one or more persons actually present and performing, and in which the whole or a major proportion of what is done by the person or persons performing, whether by way of speech, singing or action, involves the playing of a role.
What happens to plays with nudity?
If the performance is solely or principally provided for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience then it will remain regulated.
As a result of deregulatory changes that have amended the Licensing Act 2003*, no licence is required for the following activities:
Plays: no licence is required for performances between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
Dance: no licence is required for performances between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500*.
Films: no licence is required for ‘not-for-profit’ film exhibition held in community premises between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day provided that the audience does not exceed 500 and the organiser; (a) gets consent to the screening from a person who is responsible for the premises; and (b) ensures that each such screening abides by age classification ratings.
Indoor sporting events: no licence is required for performances between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 1000.
Boxing or wrestling entertainment: From 22 June 2013 no licence is required for Greco-Roman wrestling or freestyle wrestling between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 1000 and takes place in a building.
Live music: no licence permission is required for:
- a performance of unamplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, on any premises.
- a performance of amplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day on premises authorised to sell alcohol for consumption on those premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500*.
- a performance of amplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, in a workplace* that is not licensed to sell alcohol on those premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
- a performance of amplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, in a church hall, village hall, community hall, or other similar community premises, that is not licensed by a premises licence to sell alcohol, provided that; (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and; (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance from a person who is responsible for the premises.
- a performance of amplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, at the non-residential premises of (i) a local authority, or (ii) a school, or (iii) a hospital, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance on the relevant premises from: (i) the local authority concerned, or (ii) the school or (iii) the health care provider for the hospital.
Recorded music: no licence permission required for:
- any playing of recorded music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day on premises authorised to sell alcohol for consumption on those premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500*.
- any playing of recorded music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, in a church, hall, village hall, community hall, or other similar community premises, that is not licensed by a premises licence to sell alcohol, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance from a person who is responsible for the premises.
- any playing of recorded music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, at the non-residential premises of (i) a local authority, or (ii) a school, or (iii) a hospital, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance on the relevant premises from the local authority concerned, or (ii) the school proprietor or (iii) the health care provider for the hospital.
Cross activity exemptions: no licence is required between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, with no limit on audience size for:
- any entertainment taking place on the premises of the local authority where the entertainment is provided by or on behalf of the local authority;
- any entertainment taking place on the hospital premises of the health care provider where the entertainment is provided by or on behalf of the health care provider;
- any entertainment taking place on the premises of the school where the entertainment is provided by or on behalf of the school proprietor; and
- any entertainment (excluding films and a boxing or wrestling entertainment) taking place at a travelling circus, provided that (a) it takes place with a moveable structure that accommodates the audience, and (b) that the travelling circus has not been located on the same site for more than 28 consecutive days.
*for further information see the Home Office Revised Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.
All application forms relating to the Licensing Act 2003 have been prescribed by central government. The forms are available on the following pages:
- Premises licences
- Club premises certificates
- Personal licences (associated with the sale of alcohol)
- Temporary event notices (for occasional events involving less than 500 people)
- Information relating to both premises licenses and club premises certificates
You will need to complete the relevant application form.
We may use the information provided for the prevention and detection of fraud. We also share this information for auditing purposes.
If posting in the application form(s) (except minor variations) you are required to serve a copy of the application, including the accompanying documentation, to the responsible authorities on the same day as the application is given to us. If the application is submitted electronically, we will provide copies to the responsible authorities. We can only accept applications for premises within our local authority area.
Any business buying alcohol from a UK wholesaler for onward supply to their customers will need to check that their wholesaler has been approved by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) under the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS)
The time taken to process an application depends on each individual application. The time period can range from a minimum of one month up to two months, but this could be longer if appeals are made following a committee hearing.
When an application is submitted, a 28 day statutory consultation period will follow. This allows time for local residents, businesses and responsible authorities to give their responses to the application - known as 'representations'. This is done by considering the four licensing objectives.
The below guidance explains the approach we take on the enforcement of licensing legislation and licence conditions. We also carry out inspections to ensure that standards are maintained at licensed premises.
Licensing enforcement guidance notes
The aim of the Licensing Team is to ensure premises within the city of Derby that fall under the jurisdiction of the Licensing Act 2003, are correctly licensed for the relevant activities taking place within those premises. Licensing officers must ensure licensed premises comply with the Licensing Act 2003. This includes promotion of the four licensing objectives:
- protecting public safety
- preventing public nuisance
- preventing crime and disorder
- protecting children from harm
This enforcement work aims to protect those people who live, work, or are visiting the City.
Inspections can be carried out as part of a routine inspection programme, or as part of reactive work. Other potential inspections are advisory visits, generated from requests made by potential applicants at the pre-application stage.
If inspections are undertaken as part of a routine inspection programme, the time period between each inspection is generated through the Council’s risk rating scheme. The risk rating forms part of the APP software system used throughout the Environmental Health and Trading Standards Division. The risk rating produces inspection time periods between six months and five years. Areas such as risk of activities, history of compliance, suitability of the structure and occupancy levels are considered in the rating scheme to produce the next suggested inspection date.
Other visits are also made after complaints are made concerning alleged breaches in licence conditions or unlicensed activities are being conducted at premises.
The licensing officers offer advice to licence holders at the time of the inspection. They also offer advice to residents on licensing issues and the licensing procedure as and when requested. Officers regularly attend various trade meetings to educate attendees on current licensing issues.
Inspectors hold recognised licensing qualifications and have regular in-house and/or external training in licensing and enforcement issues.
Inspections or visits
Visits may be unannounced or pre-arranged. Unannounced visits may be more appropriate and more effective following complaints concerning potential breaches in licensing conditions or reports of unlicensed activity.
Inspections or visits to Club premises must be pre-arranged, giving at least 48 hours notice to the relevant person.
Inspections may be linked to the routine inspection programme or may entail visiting to check a single licensing condition. Visits may also be linked to a specific initiative if the need arises.
If there are areas of non-compliance the officer should tell the local manager or relevant person that a re-visit will be carried out and a time period should be arranged before leaving the premises. The officer should also explain verbally, the consequences of any non-compliance when re-visiting the premises.
Following the visit a letter confirming the inspection/visit, or outlining any contraventions or advice will be sent to the licence holder and the local manager (if appropriate) or the relevant person. The letter should contain details of the possible consequences of any non-compliance when the officer re-visits.
Letters should be typed by the inspecting officer and sent within 10 working days. Officers should ensure all correspondence is placed in the appropriate box for Admin to scan into the file plan on Sharepoint.
Premises may be re-visited at the discretion of the licensing officer. Time periods will be at the discretion of the officer and will be dependent on the severity of non-compliance.
If the contraventions identified by the officer have not been complied with and the licence holder or relevant person has mitigating circumstances or has begun to address some of the required works, then extra time may be given. This is at the officer’s discretion. The officer should again explain the consequences of non-compliance and arrange another time period for revisit.
Dependent on severity of non-compliance officers could consider legal proceedings.
Methods of enforcement available under the Licensing Act 2003 are:-
- Formal caution
Before using either of these methods officers should discuss the case with the Service Manager or Senior Officer.
Generally, officers should use the means listed above in order to rectify any contraventions in the licensing legislation before taking formal enforcement action. However, if the non-compliance is of a serious nature, officers can take immediate legal action.
Such instances may include unlicensed activities, or serious breaches in licence conditions i.e. those affecting public safety.
Officers may also consider more formal action if the previous history of the licence holder suggests that an informal approach would not have the desired effect.
Where there are serious breaches or there is a history of non-compliance then consideration would be given to pursuing a prosecution or formal caution. The decision making process laid down in the Division’s Enforcement Policy would be used to guide this process. It is at the officer’s discretion to identify and justify their course of action. It is not necessary to follow the guidance in a consecutive manner. The officer’s decision/action must reflect the seriousness of the contravention.
If you are planning to hold a street party, please contact Derby Live as you will need to apply for a road closure.
The Government have also published guidance for organising a street party.
Information on planning an event can be found on the Derbyshire Prepared website.
We have also published guidance on hiring other outdoor spaces.
Current licence applications:
Previous daily and weekly lists of licence applications:
- Weekly list 7 November 2022
- Weekly list 31 October 2022
- Weekly list 24 October 2022
The Public Register
The Public Register contains information about existing applications, notices and licences. Contact the Licensing Team for any requests about the Public Register.
Safeguarding information for applicants
The Licensing Team is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy when you use our services. Please view Licensing Team Privacy Notices for further information. Printed copies are available on request.
Licensing Office opening times
Not available at this time.