Council highlights new rules on occasional licences and public entertainment licences

Voluntary organisations and personal licence holders who obtain occasional licences for the sale of alcohol under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 for events they are organising may shortly also require to obtain a public entertainment licence under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for the same event. 

Premises with a premises licence or an occasional licence for the sale of alcohol under the 2005 Act have both up till now been exempt from the requirement also to hold a public entertainment licence ( PEL) under the 1982 Act.  However, for premises with only occasional licences,  that exemption will be removed as a result of an amendment to the 1982 Act which comes into effect from 1 November 2016.

A PEL is currently required for a range of public entertainment activities.  Details of these can be found at 

From 1 November 2016, anyone organising an event which will involve both the sale of alcohol under an occasional licence and one of these public entertainment activities will require to hold both forms of licence. 

There are also additional public entertainment activities which will require a PEL from 1 January 2017.  Occasional licence holders organising one or more of these additional activities at their event will also need a PEL for this from that date.  Details of the additional activities which become licensable from 1 January 2017 can be found at

Premises for which an occasional licence application is made to the Highland Licensing Board, or for which an occasional licence is granted by the Board, prior to 1 November 2016 will be exempt from these new rules, but only in respect of that occasional licence.  The exemption will last until the date on which the occasional licence ceases to have effect. 

If you have queries about these new rules, contact the Council’s licensing team at

5 Oct 2016