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Council highlights changes to Public Entertainment licences

17th September 2016

The Highland Licensing Committee has agreed changes to the activities which are required to have a public entertainment licence so the Highland Council is advising community groups, members of the public, event organisers, charities and businesses to make sure they are aware of the different requirements so not to face the disappointment of having their event or activity cancelled.

In particular organisers of public Hogmanay events are being asked to check if their event now falls within the revised definition and, if so, they are being encouraged to submit their applications early.

The changes agreed by the Committee are:

Any outdoor concert or musical performances, where there is no admission fee or charge, which has a capacity of over 250 and where amplified music, or use of a public address system, is the principle activity of the event will require to be licensed;

Premises used for exhibitions, lectures and illustrated talks which take place indoors will no longer require a licence. Only events which take place outdoors or which involve the use of a temporary structure and where there is an admission fee or charge to the public will require a licence;

There is now a requirement to hold a licence for public fireworks displays, laser displays and war games where there is no admission fee or charge. Previously a licence was only required where there was a charge to view or take part in these activities;

Premises used for trampolines and bungee trampolines, where there is an admission fee or charge to the public, now require to be licensed;

Premises used for entertainment/variety shows, where there is an admission fee or charge to the public, now require to be licensed;

Premises used for raves will require to be licensed;

Premises used for the performance of plays where there is a charge to the public will require to be licensed. This activity will only be licensed under the public entertainment category once the provisions in the Theatres Act 1968 governing the licensing of premises used for the performance of plays are repealed, and corresponding changes to the 1982 Act are brought into effect to allow the use of premises for the performance of plays to be included as an activity which requires a public entertainment licence.

All changes will take effect from 1 January 2017 and the Council can now consider applications for licences for any of the new activities.

Applications can be made online by visiting www.highland.gov.uk or forms are also available from appropriate Council Offices and all Service Points. People can also telephone (01349) 886609 to get information about the changes and how they might be affected.

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