Publication - Advice and guidance

Public entertainment licences for funfairs: guidance

Published: 20 Jul 2017
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Business, industry and innovation, Law and order

Guidance relating to the licensing of funfairs as places of public entertainment under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

8 page PDF

150.4 kB

8 page PDF

150.4 kB

Public entertainment licences for funfairs: guidance
Full Licences

8 page PDF

150.4 kB

Full Licences

15. Where an application for a full public entertainment licence has been submitted, the applicant must display a notice at the proposed premises for a period of 21 days. The notice should provide details about the licence application, the applicant and details with regards to making objections and representations.

16. Once the licensing authority has received the application for a full licence, they shall send a copy of the application to the chief constable and the relevant fire authority. The police and fire authority can object to an application for a full licence, and can also make representations to the licensing authority about the application.

17. Members of the public can object to the application, or make representations regarding it. The notice should advise that objections or representations can be made to the local licensing authority, and of the date that objections and representations should be received.

18. The notice should also advise that any objection or representation to the licence application should be made in writing within 28 days of whichever is the later or latest of certain dates set out in the 1982 Act, for example, the date when public notice was first given. Written objections and representations should specify the grounds of objection or nature of the representations, contain the contact details of the person making them, and be signed by them.

19. The licensing authority will consider if the objections or representations have been made correctly. They will also forward a copy of all relevant objections to the applicant, who should be given the opportunity to respond.

20. Once the 21 day site notice period has passed, the certificate must be forwarded to the licensing authority confirming that the notice was displayed.

21. It is for the licensing authority to consider whether any failure to display the notice is reasonable. If they do not consider it reasonable, they may order that the notice be displayed for a further 21 days before considering the application.

22. There are a number of organisations and council departments who will have an interest in the licence application. Examples include Scottish Ambulance Service, Police Scotland, Environmental Health, Leisure Services, Planning Services, Building Services, the Roads Service and the Emergency Planning Unit. Local authorities can however be structured in different ways, and it may be that across Scotland the same role is carried out by different departments.

23. The applicant must liaise with all relevant departments and ensure that they have the correct permissions, licences or certificates to hold a funfair. The licensing authority can provide further advice about the departments which should be consulted.

24. When they are considering the application, the licensing authority may make reasonable inquiries as they see fit. Where they intend to include the results of those inquiries in any decision making, they should notify the applicant of this intention.

25. The licensing authority may also consider that a visit to the proposed site would be useful when dealing with the application. In some local authority areas, the funfair is visited prior to opening to check test certificates and insurances for each ride is in place and to ensure all safety standards are adhered to. Some local licensing authorities set conditions that the licence will not come into effect until a satisfactory inspection takes place.

26. In the case of an application for a full licence, the licensing authority may hold a hearing to consider the application.

27. At that hearing, a licensing committee will consider the application, as well as any relevant representations and objections which have been made by the police, fire authority, or members of the public.

28. The applicant can also make representations for consideration by the licensing authority, addressing any objections.

29. Having considered any and all representations, the licensing authority will decide to either grant the application (subject to conditions) or refuse it.

30. A full licence can be valid for three years, from the date granted by the licensing authority. The licensing authority can grant the licence for a shorter period.

31. A full licence can be renewed, and an application for renewal of a licence is made in the same manner as an application for a new licence. If an application for renewal is made before an existing licence expires, the existing licence remains in force until the renewal of the licence is granted or, if it is refused, until the timescale for an appeal has lapsed or the appeal has been determined or abandoned.


Email: Anne Hampson,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road