Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005

Premises Licences:

  • consist of Operating Plans and Layout Plans;
  • consent of Licensing Board required for any changes;


  • preferential treatment (i.e., they do not need a premises manager);
  • BUT significant restrictions (i.e. alcohol may be supplied only to members, guests of members and members of other clubs / guests must be signed in);
  • some Licensing Boards have imposed further restrictions such as the introduction of identified member to guest ratios;
  • clubs can apply for Occasional Licences to cover functions but signing in provisions can result in problems regarding unconnected external hire of premises;

In light of the issues above, it may be worthwhile for clubs to consider moving from club status to having full Premises Licences.  There are pros and cons to this and much will depend on each club’s own circumstances.


New legislation means further changes to licensing law: Alcohol (Scotland) Act 2010 and Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

Some parts of these Acts are in force; others are due to be implemented at a later date.

Some of the more important changes are as follows:

  • there is now a requirement on licence holders to update the Licensing Board on any changes regarding connected persons[1].  A similar requirement to update the Licensing Board on any changes regarding interested persons[2] should also be implemented in due course.  Changes can include when a person ceases to be a connected person or interested person, or a change to a name or address;
  • failure to comply with the above requirements is a criminal offence on behalf of the club which may incur a fine;
  • an express application service for Occasional Licenses will be introduced, which could cover unanticipated events such as funerals;
  • Licensing Boards will have the power to vary conditions of premises licenses in respect of wide groups, for example, all premises in an area or all premises of a particular description.  For example, this could include requirements for the installation of CCTV in all premises in a particular town.