Theatre licensing

Closed 18 Jul 2019

Opened 10 Jun 2019


The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 allows the Council to choose what types of premises, activities or events it wishes to license within the council area in respect of Public Entertainment. The purpose of regulating this type of activity is not to restrict trade or competition, but to help prevent crime and ensure public safety.  In addition, every person who applies for a licence is assessed to see if they are ‘fit and proper’ to have a licence.

Public Entertainment Licences are currently required for a range of activities, premises and events - such as fireworks displays, funfairs, exhibitions, gymnasiums etc. If your land or premises are used for the purpose of public entertainment then you could need a licence from the Council.

The type of entertainment that currently requires a licence is detailed within the City of Edinburgh Council Public Entertainment Resolution (see attached). The rules apply whether or not entry to the premises or event is free of charge.

The Theatres Act 1968 will no longer be in force from January 2021 and the City of Edinburgh Council is considering whether to include theatres within its Public Entertainment Resolution. Should theatres not be included, premises would no longer be licensed.  As a ‘festival city’, it is considered important to ensure continuity if the Council is considering maintaining theatres within a licensing system.

Why your views matter

The Council is consulting with the public and stakeholders in Edinburgh about proposals to include licensing of theatres within the Public Entertainment Resolution (PER).The Council welcomes your views on the proposals to include theatrical performances.

The Council's Regulatory Committee met on 11 March 2019 and agreed to begin a programme of consultation, which will run from 10 June until 18 July 2019.

A report will be brought back to the Regulatory Committee on the outcome of the consultation process, and to seek approval of the final form of the draft Resolution and supporting information.

What happens next

The results of this consultation will be reported to the Regulatory Committee for its consideration.


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