News story

Red tape cut to reduce licensing burden on entertainment

Government reducing burdensome red tape in entertainment licensing for responsible businesses and community organisations

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Parliamentary papers to reduce the licensing burden on forms of entertainment regulated by the 2003 Licensing Act have been laid in the name of the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Equalities, Helen Grant.

The changes will reduce regulation for cultural and voluntary sectors and commercial organisations in terms of paperwork and cost for lower risk entertainment activities. It includes:

  • making it easier for pubs and clubs to host live music for larger audiences
  • enabling entertainment to be put on in schools, village halls, hospitals and other public places
  • lifting an unreasonable burden on traditional travelling circuses

Under the current legislation, licences are required to host entertainment activities that are attended by the public or in private with a view to profit. Entertainment regulation is one of the 2003 Licensing Act’s three functions, along with regulation of alcohol sales and late night refreshment.

The 2003 Act aimed to create an environment in which all licensable activities could be administered under a single regime. Public consultations in 2011 and 2013 examined entertainment deregulation against key issues such as suitable audience sizes, locations and performance end times. It has led to changes that will remove the requirement for entertainment licences, between 8am and 11pm for entertainment activities in defined lower risk circumstances.

The draft Legislative Reform (Entertainment Licensing) Order will amend the Licensing Act 2003 to deregulate certain types of regulated entertainment in defined circumstances as set out in the Order.

Published 9 July 2014