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Proposed changes to Entertainment Licensing

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The Department for Culture Media and Sport has laid before Parliament a draft Legislative Reform (Entertainment Licensing) Order.

Back in October 2013, they published a consultation about changes to Entertainment Licensing that were to be implemented via a Legislative Reform Order to remove unnecessary regulation from a certain smaller scale and neighbourhood events, freeing up organisers to put on eligible entertainment without having to fill in Licensing paperwork and go through a costly process.

The consultation covered plans to amend the Licensing requirements in respect of live and recorded music, to bring in Licensing exemptions for Local Authorities, schools, hospitals, nurseries and circuses and remove the Licensing requirement for Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling.

It is clear that the Government believes that Local Authorities, Health Care Providers and School Proprietors can be trusted to be responsible for entertainment that takes place on their own premises.  The Government also believes they should have greater freedom to manage their own affairs with regard to the provision of entertainment.  They also wish to encourage small-scale local music performances in community premises that aren’t Licensed for the supply of alcohol to help promote community interaction and expression and keep community premises viable.

It would seem there is wide support for deregulation of certain entertainment.  It is hoped that the legislative reform order will strike a fair balance between the wider public interest and potential impacts on individual citizens, particularly in relation to the provision of live and recorded music.  Their belief is that the order is only concerned with deregulating lower risk activities and this is bourn about by responses to their consultation.  Of particular note is the proposal for recorded music as well as live music to be deregulated between 08:00 and 23:00 on Licensed premises where amplified, in the presence of an audience of no more than 500.

The documents prepared by the Government includes a summary of the consultation responses and an updated impact assessment.  The order proposed to amend the Licensing Act 2003 will now be scrutinised by the House of Commons and House of Lords.

For further information, please contact our Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing team on 01332 340 211.

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