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  01228 817523

Alcohol and Entertainment

Under the Licensing Act 2003 a premises licence is required for any of the following:

  • Retail sale or the supply of alcohol
  • Performance of a play
  • Exhibition of a film
  • Indoor sporting events
  • Boxing or wrestling events
  • Performing live music (exemptions apply)
  • Dancing (exemptions apply)
  • Supplying hot food or drink between 11.00pm and 05.00am

Carlisle City Council is the licensing authority for its area, dealing with all licensing functions relating to the above-mentioned activities. The Council must have regard to the Government's statutory guidance when dealing with its licensing responsibilities and has been required to prepare a Licensing Policy, which explains the factors that the Council will consider when examining applications for licences and for monitoring compliance with licence conditions. The Act, the statutory guidance and the policy seek to achieve four main objectives, which have equal importance;

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Prevention of public nuisance
  • Protection of public safety
  • Protection of Children from Harm

Premises licences

The principal category of those who can apply for a premises licence is anyone who proposes to carry on a business involving licensable activities on the premises. This covers any individual (aged at least 18) or companies, unincorporated bodies, partnerships, etc. Recognised clubs, charities, a proprietor of educational establishments, health service bodies and a chief officer of police may also apply for a premises licence.

If you apply for a Premises Licence you must also appoint a ‘Designated Premises Supervisor’ (DPS) who must hold a Personal Licence to sell alcohol. The DPS will be in day to day control of the premises and be the person named on the premises licence. It is illegal to sell alcohol without an appointed DPS.

You are advised that you should check the planning permission for your premises by emailing [email protected]. Any change in the use of a property will require planning permission. Further information on planning permission can be found at:

Businesses which sell beverages and / or associated food will need to register their premises with the Food and Public Protection section of this authority. In order to do this a copy of the Food Premises Registration form can be downloaded from or obtained by telephoning 01228 817329.

Personal Licences

A personal licence can be granted to an individual and is now granted for an indefinite period.  A personal licence authorises the holder to supply alcohol, or to authorise the supply of alcohol, in accordance with a premises licence. The authority given by a licence issued by this Licensing Authority is not restricted to premises within the area of the Authority.

An applicant will be entitled to the grant of a personal licence if they meet the following criteria:

  • they are aged 18 or over;
  • they possess a licensing qualification accredited by the Secretary of State or are a person of a description prescribed by the Secretary of State;
  • they have not had forfeited a personal licence within 5 years of their application; and 
  • they have not been convicted of a relevant offence or any foreign offence (a conviction for a relevant offence or a foreign offence will be disregarded if it is spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974).

When an applicant has an unspent conviction for a relevant offence, the Licensing Authority will liaise with Cumbria Police. If they object to the applicant becoming licensed, the application will be referred to a Licensing Sub-Committee. At that hearing the Sub-Committee will consider carefully whether the grant of the licence will be in the interests of the crime prevention objective. It will consider the seriousness and relevance of any conviction(s), the period that has elapsed since the offence(s) were committed and any mitigating circumstances, but refusal of the application will be the normal course unless there are, in the opinion of the Sub-Committee, exceptional and compelling circumstances that justify granting the application.

Applicants for personal licences should disclose to the Licensing Authority any previous licences held by them.

A personal licence is required to authorise the sale of alcohol in any premises - including pubs, off-licences, restaurants and hotels.  Premises operating under a club premises certificate do not require a personal licence holder. You can apply for a personal licence to the council for the area in which you live. This will then be the council responsible for continuing to licence you, even if you move away from the area.

If a Person Licence holder is charged with a relevant offence, they have a duty to produce this licence to the court as soon as reasonably practicable.

The licence holder must also notify Carlisle City Council of any convictions as soon as reasonable practicable.

Under Deregulation Act 2015 the requirement to renew a personal licence was abolished from 1st April 2015 . this means that all existing Personal Licences will carry on indefinitely until such times that they are either surrendered or revoked. The expiry date no longer applies and therefore now has no relevance. However If you change your name or address you must also notify the Council as soon as reasonably practicable, in writing and return your paper licence and card to us together with the appropriate fee of £10.50. You will then be issued with an updated licence. It is an offence not to do so.

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