Know Your Licensing Duties

We attend a number of Village Hall conferences around the country and one of the subjects which delegates often discuss is the need to obtain a licence for different types of activity. With Village Halls diversifying and offering an even wider range of activities and events it can be difficult to ensure that you always have the correct licences for your operation. We thought it would be helpful to clarify this area for you and we have sought the advice of Peter Bryan, a Community Buildings Adviser who has been a consultant to the voluntary sector over the last 20 years. Peter has kindly written the following guide to help you through this difficult topic.

Village Hall activities and events are regulated by two tiers of legislation – one relates to the use of the building (Premises Licence) while the other covers licence obligations for the activities.

Premises Licence The Licensing Act 2003 introduced the Premises Licence to regulate entertainment, supply and sale of alcohol and provision of late night refreshment. Village hall activities and events must satisfy the licensing objectives set out in this legislation: the prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. Many halls converted an existing Entertainment Licence into a Premises Licence or took the opportunity to get a wider ranging Premises Licence. Premises Licences for Entertainment in village halls are free and perpetual. If the licence includes the supply/sale of alcohol, it is subject to annual renewal with a fee which is related to Ratable Value.

The Premises Licence includes a schedule of entertainments, operating times and conditions. Any licensable activity not included in the Licence can be undertaken with a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) – cost £21 each and limited to 12 per annum.

However, since 2010, entertainments in village halls have been deregulated within certain limits (see table). Outside the limits a TEN may be required.

The Licensing Act 2003 and subsequent Orders are particularly stringent in relation to the sale of alcohol. Halls should consult Government guidance and be sure they comply and have all policies in place.

Licenses for activities

TV Licence: A TV receiver in the hall connected via aerial, satellite or broadband needs an annual TV Licence. The TV licence is for the premises and should be in the name of an officer (the treasurer or the secretary). Currently £154.50pa.

DVD, Film and Video: The public performance of DVD, Film and Video requires a licence from the film distributor. You can choose between a public or private showing – the rules are quite different. See for guidance.

Public film show: The film is advertised and shown to the general public who pay for admission. A licence is needed: contact For regular showings, there is a tariff related to box office takings and size of venue.

Private film club: The film is advertised and shown only to a film club - strictly 'members only' who are NOT charged admission to the film. The costs of running the club are met by annual subscription. A public video screening licence is required: contact or The umbrella licence from mplc is good value for a film club. Showing films is 'regulated entertainment' so keep within your Premises Licence or 'de-regulated' conditions set out above.

Live and Recorded Music: Village halls where live or recorded music is played at activities and events are legally required to have a licence from the relevant royalty agencies: Performing Right Society (PRS) for Music and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) for the public use of Sound Recordings. Both have a Community Buildings (CB) Tariff based on 1% + VAT of hall income (less donations and grants). If your income is under £10,000 then a fixed fee of £50.50+VAT (£60.60) is payable to both PRS and PPL. Contact:

Prize Draw and 200 clubs: Prize Draw tickets can be sold to adults over a period of time before the day of the draw. Records must be kept of income and prizes and a return made to the Local Authority. Similar records are required for 200 clubs. These activities are known as small society lotteries: one local authority licence covers all such activities. The initial licence is £40, renewal £20.

Prize Draw Prizes: Alcohol Prize Draw prizes need a Temporary Event Notice for the supply of alcohol on the day and place of the draw unless the draw takes place on premises licensed for the sale and supply of alcohol.

Other Fund-Raising Activities: Raffles, Race nights and casino nights for charity, non-commercial Bingo; Alcohol prizes in raffles - NONE of these activities require a licence provided the conditions are met: All the proceeds must be for charity (i.e. the village hall); raffle tickets to be sold on the same day in the hall where the draw takes place and tickets must all be the same price. Tickets cannot be sold to minors where alcohol prizes are included.

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