Environment Minister Consultation on Entertainment Licensing

30 April 2015

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, today announced the start of a consultation on the Report by the Entertainment Licensing Review Group.

Minister Durkan said:

“The purpose of this review and its recommendations is to look at putting in place a more modern system which does not put undue burdens on businesses and local community groups and ensures that the public are not put at risk and that entertainment does not cause undue disturbance to people living in the vicinity. I would encourage everyone to read the report and take the opportunity to comment on the recommendations.”

The current entertainment licensing system has been in place since 1985 and hasn’t been reviewed over the past thirty years. In July 2014 the Minister invited representatives from the entertainment industry, councils, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) to review and make recommendations on changes to the entertainment licensing system.

Key recommendations in the report include:-

  • There should be a single licence covering both indoor and outdoor entertainment at a venue;
  • An entertainment licence should remain in place unless surrendered by the licence holder or revoked by the council;
  • Local residents, the PSNI and NIFRS would retain the right to object to the grant of a licence;
  • To ensure that action can be taken in response to any problems, local residents, the PSNI and NIFRS would also be able to request that the council review the licence at any time over the duration of the licence;
  • The council would be able to vary the conditions of a licence, suspend the licence or revoke it; and
  • A new temporary licence should be introduced to allow for one-off events by businesses or community groups.