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The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 requires that a public entertainment licence (PEL) is necessary for a place of public entertainment.

Changes in legislation introduced on 1 April 2012 deleted the provision of payment of money or money’s worth and consequently an event may need to be covered by a Public Entertainment Licence whether or not the public are required to pay an admission fee or pay to use any of the facilities provided.

Please note that the following place(s) or class(es) of activity currently require a Public Entertainment Licence:

  • Open air concerts
  • Firework and bonfire displays
  • Fairgrounds
  • Circuses
  • Gala days/fetes/community fun days with marquees or inflatables such as bouncy castles for public use
  • Premises used for leisure activities with audience accommodation
  • Premises used for dancing, discotheques and roller discos
  • Ice rinks with audience accommodation
  • Activities where a public audience may be present (e.g. boxing, wrestling, judo presentations)
  • Snooker/billiard halls
  • Public concerts, other than theatrical performances
  • Radio or TV stations with audience accommodation
  • Premises in which machines for entertainment or amusement area are being provided (subject to Section 41(2)(g) of the 1982 Act)
  • Agricultural, equestrian and livestock shows/events

Applications for Funfairs and Circuses must be lodged 90 days prior to the first date of the event.

In the event that you are proposing a beer tent, a separate Occasional Licence application should be lodged.

In support of your application, you must provide the undernoted documentation, however, further information may be required as part of the application consultation process.
  • A site layout plan, clearly defining the area to be licensed by the PEL.
  • The layout plan should also clearly show all stalls/tents/enclosures where the public will have access, using a key to denote the location of each attraction.
  • Parking provision.
  • Toilet provision (no. of male/female).
  • Provision of facilities for people with special needs.
  • Risk assessment of the whole event.
  • Management Statement covering the whole event, based in accordance with Event Safety Guide and listing those responsible in the event of an emergency.
  • Public Liability Insurance certificate covering the event.
  • Any fairground attractions/rides/air structures will require ADIPS or PIPA certification, as appropriate (Declaration of Operational Compliance and Report on Electrical Thorough Examination), together with public liability insurance and risk assessment document for each.
  • Manufacturers' certification regarding flame resistance of tents/marquees/trade stands where the public will have access, together with dimensions of structure and location and dimensions of exits. An indication of the inside layout of the structure will also assist in the calculation of the occupant capacity.
  • List of caterers at the event, eg snack bars, ice cream vans (name, address and local authority where registered).

A document entitled "The Event Safety Guide – A Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Similar Events, HSG 195" may be of some help to you and can be accessed through the Health and Safety Executive website

Please note that to coincide with your application being lodged, you are required to display a Site Notice at or near the premises for a period of 21 days so that it can easily be read by members of the public. Following this, the Certificate of Compliance should be completed and returned to the relevant office within 7 days. The time limit for lodgement of objections is 28 days from the date of application.

Although there is no statutory basis for display of a Site Notice in respect of an application for a temporary licence, it is considered to be good practice to do so, should time permit.

If your proposed event involves a raised structure, you should contact the Council’s Building Standard Service on 01563 576778 for information and guidance. The fee for obtaining permission to erect and use a raised structure is dependent upon the size and complexity of the proposed structure (for example, small means less than 500 persons, medium 501-999 persons and large 1000+ persons).

Early consultation with Building Standards is vital with a minimum 14 day lead-in required for minor applications and considerably more time required to process an application for a large or complex raised structure.

For further information on public entertainment licences, please contact the Licensing Unit using the details below.

Contact Information


Licensing Board Administration
London Road
East Ayrshire
Telephone: 07557 168826