Review of Alcohol Licensing Fees - Steering Group: Recommendations to Scottish Ministers

A steering group was assembled to carry out a review of alcohol licensing fees. The group was made up of representatives from the on and off trade as well as from Licensing Boards with a remit to:

Set the parameters for research to be carried out by an independent contractor;

Consider the findings of the research and any implications for the alcohol licensing regime in Scotland; Agree recommendations to Scottish Ministers


1. Since the alcohol licensing fees regime came into effect, in 2009, stakeholders have questioned how proportionate and fair the fees regime is. It has been suggested by some stakeholders that small and medium sized premises pay disproportionately large fees relative to larger premises. However, others have argued that the size of the premises should not impact on the premises licence fee, because applications take a similar amount of resources to process regardless of the size of the premises.

2. In 2010, the Regulatory Review Group (RRG) carried out a review of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, which focused on fees and the cost of applications. One of their recommendations was that the Scottish Government review whether rateable values was the most appropriate basis for the banding structure used to calculate premises licences and annual fees, as well as considering other options that could be more suitable.

3. In response to these stakeholder concerns and the RRG recommendations, in October 2011, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice announced plans for a review of alcohol licensing fees.


Email: Sacha Rawlence

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