The Licensing Act 2003 fundamentally changed licensing law in England and Wales. 

The Act established for the first time a single integrated scheme for licensing premises that are to be used for the supply of alcohol, to provide regulated entertainment or to provide late night refreshment. The Act refers to these collectively as “licensing activities”.  Importantly the Act transferred responsibility for liquor licensing from the Magistrates Court and Licensing Justices to the Licensing Authority (Local Authority).

A number of licensing regimes were amalgamated by the Act:

  •  Licensing Act 1964 and 1967 – liquor and private places of entertainment
  •  Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 – public entertainment
  •  Theatres Act 1968 - plays
  •  Cinemas Act 1985 - exhibition of films
  •  Late Night Refreshment Houses Act 1969 – food and drink retail after 11pm

Since November 2005 when the Act came into force Bolton Council has been responsible for licensing premises where:

  •  Alcohol is sold by retail sale or supplied by a members club
  •  Entertainment is provided (music, dancing, cinemas, theatres, indoor sports, boxing and wrestling)
  •  Hot food is provided between 11pm and 5am

Please view the Downloads tab for application forms and guidance notes.

The Council is required to review, consult and publish a Statement of Licensing Policy at least every 5 years by Section 5 of the Licensing Act 2003. Following a full review and public consultation an amended Licensing Policy was approved by full council and is now published as required under the Act.  You can view the policy here.

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