Licensing news

Theatre Licensing


Premises which are used for the public performance of plays are currently licensed under the Theatres Act 1968 which is a mandatory licensing regime.  As of 27 January 2021, the Theatres Act 1968 will no longer be in force.

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 now allows the Council to license premises used for the public performance of plays within the public entertainment licensing regime.  The licensing of places of public entertainment under the 1982 Act is an optional licensing activity. 

The purpose of regulating this type of activity is for the preservation of public order and safety, the prevention of crime, and not to restrict trade or competition.  In addition, persons that apply for a licence are assessed to ensure they are ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence.


The Highland Council is considering whether to include theatres within its public entertainment licensing regime when the Theatres Act 1968 is no longer in force and seeks public and stakeholders opinion on this matter.

The Highland Licensing Committee met on 6 August 2019 and agreed to undertake a public consultation exercise.  This will run from 12 August until 23 September 2019.

A further report will be submitted to the Highland Licensing Committee meeting on 5 November 2019 providing the consultation responses.  Members of the Highland Licensing Committee will consider at this meeting whether to resolve to license theatres under the public entertainment licensing regime.

Please respond to the consultation at the following link:


Committee report:

List of current premises which are licensed under public entertainment:


Personal Licence renewals

  • If your licence was issued on or before 1 September 2009, you need to renew it. The deadline for renewals is 31 May 2019
  • If you miss the deadline and your licence expires you could lose the right to sell alcohol on your premises

If you hold a Personal Licence which expires on 31 August 2019, we recommend that you do the refresher training and submit the training certificate with the renewal application. You should not delay your renewal application because you have not taken any action to book onto a refresher training course or do not yet have the refresher training certificate. We suggest that you use your existing training qualification, which are accredited for renewal purposes as evidence of your licensing qualification. Read more at the website. Submit this existing training qualification along with your application form and renewal fee without delay to meet the 31 May deadline. Evidence of your refresher training certificate would need to be submitted as soon as possible after you have submitted your application.

Act now if you want to keep your Personal Licence

If your personal licence was issued on or before 1 September 2009 this applies to you and you must:

  • Undergo refresher training every 5 years to refresh their knowledge of the licensing regime, and send the training certificate to your local Licensing Board Office 
  • Apply to renew a personal licence every ten years, and lodge the renewal application no later than 3 months before expiry date of the licence.

Read our guidance

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