Alcohol and entertainment licences

Licence name
Alcohol and entertainment licences

The licensing of alcohol, certain types of entertainment and late night refreshment is now the responsibility of the local authority and is governed by the Licensing Act 2003. We are the licensing authority for the Rochdale Borough.

Our licensing policy was adopted, under the licensing Act, on 1 December 2004, addressing issues raised during the consultation exercise that was carried out.

The activities that require a licence are governed by the Licensing Act 2003 and are:

a) Retail sale of alcohol.
b) Supply of alcohol to club members.
c) Provision of entertainment to the public or club members or with a view to making profit including raising money for charity where the entertainment involves:

  • A theatrical performance
  • Film exhibition
  • Indoor sporting event
  • A boxing or wrestling entertainment
  • Live music performance
  • Playing of recorded music
  • Dance performance

What is the purpose of the act?

The overall aim is to modernise the legislation governing the sale and supply of alcohol and public entertainment licensing so that:

  • Various existing pieces of legislation are brought under a single Act;
  • Licensing decisions are made according to local considerations;
  • Licensing hours are deregulated (that is, the previous restrictions on the hours when alcohol could be sold have been removed).

Premises Licence 

This is a licence granted in relation to specific premises and will specify the nature of the licensable activity and any applicable conditions.

​​​​​Personal Licence

This is a portable licence granted to an individual enabling them to sell alcohol at a premises licensed for the sale of alcohol. The licence's duration is indefinite. 

Club premises certificate

This is a licence granting 'qualifying club' status to specific premises, according to a number of qualifying conditions, including the provision that there are at least 25 members and that alcohol is only supplied by or on behalf of the club. 

Temporary event notice

This 'notice' permits the carrying-out of specified licensable activities for a restricted time period up to a maximum of 168 hours. There are a number of further limitations with regard to such 'notices' detailed in Part 5, Section 107 of the Act.

Provisional statement

This is an 'interim' statement as regards the provision of a Premises Licence where the premises has not yet been built and provides the investors with some degree of certainty as to the future use of the premises.


At any stage, following the grant of a premises licence, a responsible authority, such as the police or the fire authority, or an interested party, such as a resident living in the vicinity of the premises, may ask the licensing authority to review the licence because of a matter arising at the premises in connection with any of the four licensing objectives. Applications for the review of a premises licence or club premises certificate must be given in writing and be in the prescribed form.

What are licensable activities?

There are 4 licensable activities contained within the Act (Section 1):

  • The sale of alcohol by retail
  • The supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of a club
  • The provision of regulated entertainment
  • The provision of late night refreshment

What is regulated entertainment?

Subject to qualifying conditions, and exemptions, the definitions are contained within Schedule 1 of the Act and are:

  • A performance of a play
  • An exhibition of a film
  • An indoor sporting event
  • A boxing or wrestling entertainment (indoors or outdoors)
  • A performance of live music
  • Any playing of recorded music
  • A performance of a dance

Entertainment of similar description to that falling within the performance of live music, any playing of recorded music and the performance of dance.

​​Where the entertainment takes place in the presence of an audience and is provided for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of entertaining that audience. This reference to an 'audience' also includes 'spectators'.

Does the act include outdoors entertainment?

Yes, the definition of 'premises' states that it means "any place and include a vehicle, vessel of moveable structure". Unlike the previous system, any licensable activity taking place on private or public land will require a licence.

What is late night refreshment?

Late night refreshment, subject to the relevant exemptions, is defined in Schedule 2 of the Act and is broadly, hot food or drink supplied to members of the public, on or from any premises, whether for consumption on or off the premises, between the hours of 11pm and 5am.

What are the qualification requirements for the Personal Licence?

Applicants for a Personal Licence will need to hold a licensing qualification that has been accredited by the Secretary of State. The aim of this provision is to ensure licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities attached to the sale of alcohol.

What is a Designated Premises Supervisor?

A Designated Premises Supervisor must hold a Personal Licence and is the person specified on the Premises Licence who is responsible for authorising the supply of alcohol. This person must be readily identifiable and will normally be given day to day responsibility for running the premises.

What are some of the key exemptions in the act?

Live music at small premises - (Section 177) - Where there is musical entertainment at premises which have a permitted capacity of not more than 200 persons and are used primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises, only licence conditions relating to either crime and disorder or public safety apply to that musical entertainment, that is, those relating to protection of children from harm or public nuisance do not apply to the musical entertainment. However, if there is a review of the licence then the exempted conditions can be applied.

Where there is a performance of live music between 8am and midnight (and no other form of regulated entertainment) at such premises then no licence conditions can apply with regard to the musical entertainment unless there is a review of the licence.

Place of Worship- (Schedule 1, Part 2 Exemptions) - Premises such as churches do not require a premises licence for activities which would otherwise be classified as 'regulated entertainment' taking place at the church.

Garden Fetes - (Schedule 1, Part 2 Exemptions) - Entertainment provided at a garden fete, or similar event, is not 'regulated entertainment' and thus requires no licence.​​

How to apply

Each licence has specific application requirements. You can find information on the application on each of the licence pages.

If you have any enquiries, please email the Licensing Unit using the contact information on this page. We'll aim to respond to your enquiry within 5 working days of receipt of your email.

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