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In East Ayrshire, as from 28 April 2023, a licence known as a sexual entertainment venue licence shall be required for the use of premises which provide sexual entertainment before a live audience.

The definition of 'sexual entertainment' is any live performance or any live display of nudity which is of such a nature, ignoring financial gain, which is provided solely or principally for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience.

The number of venues to operate within East Ayrshire has been set at zero.

Who should apply?

From 28 April 2023, any person who operates a sexual entertainment venue (SEV) as defined under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 requires a SEV licence.

There are certain venues that are not regarded as a SEV under the 1982 Act. These are:

  • sex shops within the meaning under the 1982 Act
  • premises at which sexual entertainment is provided on a particular occasion if:
    • sexual entertainment has not been provided on more than three occasions which fall wholly or partly within the period of 12 months ending with the start of the particular occasion
    • each continuous period during which sexual entertainment is provided on the premises is to be treated as a separate occasion
    • where the period during which sexual entertainment is provided on the premises exceeds 24 hours, each period of 24 hours (and any part of a period of 24 hours) is to be treated as a separate occasion
  • other premises exempted by an order of the Scottish Ministers

It is strongly recommended that you take your own independent legal advice on whether or not you may be operating a SEV within the legal definition and require to apply for a SEV licence.

Please ensure you have read the sexual entertainment venues policy statement (PDF 223Kb) before applying.

How do I apply for a SEV licence?

You can apply using the sexual entertainment venue application form (PDF 300Kb).

Please note your application will not be processed until all required documentation, detailed below, is submitted and the application fee has been paid. On receipt of the application a member of the Licensing Section will contact you for payment.

How much is a SEV licence?

The grant of a three year SEV licence is £1,500

The renewal of a three year SEV licence is £1,500

What needs to accompany the application?

A SEV application will also need:

  • layout plan of the venue at a scale of 1:100 and showing the following:
    • the layout of the premises, for example stage, bars, cloakrooms, toilets, performance area, dressing rooms, private booths
    • the extent of the boundary of the premises outlined in red 
    • the extent of the public areas outlined in blue 
    • uses of different areas in the premises, for example performance areas, reception, staff facilities
    • structures or objects (including furniture) which may impact on the ability of individuals to use exits or escape routes without impediment
    • location of points of access to and egress from the premises for the public and performers/staff
    • any parts used in common with other premises
    • position of CCTV cameras 
    • where the premises includes a stage or raised area, the location and height of each stage or area relative to the floor
    • the location of any steps, stairs, elevators or lifts
    • the location of any public conveniences, including disabled toilets
    • the location and type of any fire safety and other safety equipment
    • the location of the kitchen (if applicable)
    • the location of emergency exits
  • written code of conduct for performers within the venue
  • written code of conduct for customers within the venue
  • written policies and procedures covering matters such as:
    • minimising disturbance to nearby residents or people within close proximity of the premises
    • management of customers standing outside the premises
    • addressing crime and disorder within the premises
    • appropriate checks to ensure customers
    • staff and performers are over 18 years of age
    • zero drug tolerance

How will the application be processed?  

Provided your application is submitted with all the relevant supporting documentation and the fee has been paid, it will then be sent to the following consultees:

  • Elected Members for the area
  • Community Council for the area
  • Council’s Planning and Building Standards
  • Council’s Environmental Health
  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

The consultees will have 28 days from when the application is received in which to lodge a response. 

Once I lodge the SEV application, is there anything else I need to do?

Where a grant application or an application for renewal is lodged, the applicant must display a notice for a period of 21 days from when the application is lodged, at or near the premises, in a place where the public can reasonably read the notice. You must thereafter submit to the local authority a Certificate of Compliance stating that you have complied with the requirement to display the notice for 21 days.

Contact Information


Licensing Board Administration
London Road
East Ayrshire
Telephone: 07557 168826