What is a Special Licence?
A special licence allows for the sale of alcohol at special occasions or events. They are normally used to licence one-off events where no licence is currently held, such as a food and wine festival or a fundraising event. A special licence can also be used to extend the hours or area of licensed premises for a special occasion or event.
Which events require a Special Licence?
If you are holding an event where alcohol will be for sale then a Special Licence is required. Alcohol is deemed to be for sale if:
- you are selling over the bar,
- charging a fee such as an entry fee, ticket price or other payment for an alcohol-inclusive matter, if the cost of the alcohol is included in pre-sold tickets, or
- you ask for koha or donation in relation to an alcohol-inclusive matter
A Special Licence is intended for an event or activity which is outside the usual or regular activities of the applicant, i.e. has some ‘Speciality’ and is not just normal business.
A Special Licence can cover a series of related events or activities. The events must be located in the same place, e.g. community hall.
If you are not sure if a special licence is required - please ask us and we will advise you.
Types of Special Licence
There are two types of special licence:
- On-site special licence – allows the licensee to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on the site to people attending an event.
- Off-site special licence – allows the licensee to sell the licensee’s alcohol for consumption somewhere else and to supply free samples (tastings).
Applications must be lodged at least 20 working days
before the date of the function. This is to allow for the processing of
the application and for the reporting agencies and Inspector to be able to make any necessary enquiries. The bigger the event, the more time you should allow for your application, so the earlier the application is
received, the better.
Exceptions can be made for unforeseen events, such as funerals.