Club Premise Certificate

The Licensing Act 2003 recognises that volunteer and social clubs give rise to different issues for licensing law than commercially run premises selling direct to the public. These clubs (such as the Royal British Legion, working men's, cricket or rugby clubs) are generally organisations where members join together for a particular social, sporting or political purpose and then combine to purchase alcohol in bulk for its members.

The clubs carry on activities from premises to which public access is restricted and alcohol is supplied other than for profit. For these reasons the Act preserves aspects of earlier alcohol licensing law which applied to 'registered members clubs' and affords clubs special treatment outside the normal premises licence arrangements.

Clubs which meet specified criteria set out in the Act are known as 'qualifying clubs' and the authority under which they may supply alcohol and conduct other 'qualifying club activities' from their premises is a club premises certificate issued by the licensing authority.

There are fees applicable to this process.


The Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act") requires each licensing authority to carry out its duties with a view to promoting four licensing objectives. These are:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder; 
  • public safety; 
  • the prevention of public nuisance; 
  • the protection of children from harm.

These objectives comprise the basis on which the licensing authority determines what is in the overall public interest when carrying out its functions. A licensing authority may only restrict licensable activities where it is necessary for the promotion of these licensing objectives. Each objective is of equal importance.

Any representations about the grant of a licence or grounds for a review of an existing licence should relate to the promotion of the licensing objectives.

When applying for a premises licence the applicant must submit an operating schedule that includes a statement of the steps he proposes to take to promote the licensing objectives.

The licensing objectives establish the tests against which a licensing authority carries out its duties for the licensing regime. They aim to ensure that everybody involved in the licensing regime is focused on common goals essential to the fair balance of differing interests and the well being of communities in relation to licensable activities.

 

The descriptions of entertainment activities licensable under the 2003 Act are:

  • a performance of a play;
  • an exhibition of a film;
  • an indoor sporting event;
  • a boxing or wrestling entertainment;
  • a performance of live music;
  • any playing of recorded music;
  • a performance of dance; and
  • entertainment of a similar description to a performance of live music, any playing of recorded music or a performance of dance.

To be licensable, one or more of these activities needs to be provided for the purpose (at least partly) of entertaining an audience; has to be held on premises made available for the purpose of enabling that activity; and must also either:

  • take place in the presence of a public audience, or
  • where that activity takes place in private, be the subject of a charge made with a view to profit.

No licence is required for the following activities:

  • Plays: no licence is required for performances between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
  • Dance: no licence is required for performances between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
  • Films: no licence is required for ‘not-for-profit’ film exhibition held in community premises between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day provided that the audience does not exceed 500 and the organiser (a) gets consent to the screening from a person who is responsible for the premises; and (b) ensures that each such screening abides by age classification ratings.
  • Indoor sporting events: no licence is required for an event between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that those present do not exceed 1000.
  • Boxing or wrestling entertainment: no licence is required for a contest, exhibition or display of Greco-Roman wrestling, or freestyle wrestling between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 1000.

Live music: no licence permission is required for:

  • a performance of unamplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, on any premises.
  • a performance of amplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day on premises authorised to sell alcohol for consumption on those premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
  • a performance of amplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, in a workplace that is not licensed to sell alcohol on those premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
  • a performance of amplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, in a church hall, village hall, community hall, or other similar community premises, that is not licensed by a premises licence to sell alcohol, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance from a person who is responsible for the premises.
  • a performance of amplified live music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, at the non-residential premises of (i) a local authority, or (ii) a school, or (iii) a hospital, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance on the relevant premises from: (i) the local authority concerned, or (ii) the school or (iii) the health care provider for the hospital.

Recorded Music: no licence permission is required for:

  • any playing of recorded music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day on premises authorised to sell alcohol for consumption on those premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
  • any playing of recorded music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, in a church hall, village hall, community hall, or other similar community premises, that is not licensed by a premises licence to sell alcohol, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance from a person who is responsible for the premises.
  • any playing of recorded music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, at the non-residential premises of (i) a local authority, or (ii) a school, or (iii) a hospital, provided that (a) the audience does not exceed 500, and (b) the organiser gets consent for the performance on the relevant premises from: (i) the local authority concerned, or (ii) the school proprietor or (iii) the health care provider for the hospital.

Cross activity exemptions: no licence is required between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, with no limit on audience size for:

  • any entertainment taking place on the premises of the local authority where the entertainment is provided by or on behalf of the local authority;
  • any entertainment taking place on the hospital premises of the health care provider where the entertainment is provided by or on behalf of the health care provider;
  • any entertainment taking place on the premises of the school where the entertainment is provided by or on behalf of the school proprietor; and
  • any entertainment (excluding films and a boxing or wrestling entertainment) taking place at a travelling circus, providing that (a) it takes place within a moveable structure that accommodates the audience, and (b) that the travelling circus has not been located on the same site for more than 28 consecutive days.

To be classified as a qualifying club in relation to a qualifying club activity, a number of general conditions must be met. These are:

  • that under the rules of the club, persons may not be admitted to membership, or be admitted, as candidates for membership, to any of the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their nomination for membership and their admission;
  • that under the rules of the club, those becoming members without prior nomination or application may not be admitted to the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their becoming members and their admission;
  • that the club is established and conducted in good faith as a club;
  • that the club has at least 25 members;
  • that alcohol is not supplied to members on the premises otherwise than by or on behalf of the club.

To qualify as a club authorised to supply alcohol to its members and guests, additional conditions must be met. These are:

  • the purchase and supply of alcohol by and for the club is managed by a committee made up of elected members of the club all aged over 18 years;
  • no arrangements may be made for any person to receive any commission, percentage or similar payment at the expense of the club with reference to purchases of alcohol by the club;
  • no arrangements may be made for any person to derive directly or indirectly any monetary benefit from the supply of alcohol to members or guests apart from to benefit the club as a whole or any indirect benefit a person derives by reason of the supply contributing to a general gain for the club as a whole.

We will have to look at a number of matters and take those into account. These matters are:

  • any arrangements restricting the freedom of the club to purchase alcohol;
  • any arrangements where the money or property of the club or any gain arising from the running of the club can be used for purposes otherwise than for the benefit of the club as a whole or for charitable, benevolent or political purposes;
  • the arrangements for giving members information about the finances of the club;
  • the books of account or any other records kept to ensure accuracy of that information;
  • the nature of the premises occupied by the club.

No.

The grant of a club premises certificate means that a club is entitled to certain benefits, which include the authority to supply alcohol to its members and sell it to guests without the need for any member or employee to hold a personal licence, and the absence of a requirement to specify a designated premises supervisor. There are also more limited rights of entry for the police and other authorised persons, as the premises are considered private and not generally open to the public.

The information contained in a plan must be clear and legible in all material respects and it must:

  1. show the extent of the boundary of the building, if relevant, and any external and internal walls of the building and, if different, the perimeter of the premises;
  2. show the location of points of access to and egress from the premises;
  3. show, if different from 2. above, the location of escape routes from the premises;
  4. in a case where the premises is to be used for more than one licensable activity, show the area within the premises used for each activity;
  5. show fixed structures (including furniture) or similar objects temporarily in a fixed location (but not furniture) which may impact on the ability of individuals on the premises to use exits or escape routes without impediment;
  6. show, in a case where the premises includes a stage or raised area, the location and height of each stage or area relative to the floor;
  7. show, in a case where the premises includes any steps, stairs, elevators or lifts, the location of the steps, stairs, elevators or lifts;
  8. show, in a case where the premises includes any room or rooms containing public conveniences, the location of the room or rooms;
  9. show the location and type of any fire safety and any other safety equipment including, if applicable, marine safety equipment; and,
  10. show the location of a kitchen, if any, on the premises

All contested applications are referred to the Council’s Licensing & Regulatory Licensing Sub-Committee (which consists of 3 elected Councillors) to consider the objections in relation to the application.

You will be invited to attend and make your application to the Sub-Committee, you may ask questions of the Sub-Committee and of the objectors. In turn you may be required to answer questions raised by the Sub-Committee or the objectors. Hearings are normally heard in public and as a result members of the press and public may be in attendance.

A copy of the procedures the Sub-Committee follow can be found in the download section elsewhere on this page as well as some guidance for persons attending a hearing.

The certificate will not be time limited (unless requested).