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Club premises licence

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The Licensing Act 2003 requires Middlesbrough Council to produce a licensing policy. This policy sets out how the council expects the licensing objectives, defined by the Act, to be promoted in the local area, and provides guidance on matters which will normally be taken into account when making decisions on licensing applications.

Registration of club premises

To authorise the supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment in a qualifying club you need a club premises certificate from the council.

In a qualifying club there is technically no sale by retail of alcohol (except to guests of members) as the member owns part of the alcohol stock and the money passing across the bar is merely a mechanism to preserve equity between members where one may consume more than another.

Clubs must be qualifying clubs (as set out in the Licensing Act 2003). A qualifying club has general conditions it must satisfy:

  • a person may not be given memberships or as a candidate for membership to any membership privileges without an interval of at least two days from their membership application or nomination and their membership being granted
  • that club rules state that those becoming members without nomination or application cannot have membership privileges for at least two days between them becoming members and being admitted to the club
  • that the club is established and conducted in good faith
  • that the club has at least 25 members
  • that alcohol is only supplied to members on the premises on behalf of, or by, the club

Additional conditions in relation to the supply of alcohol must be complied with. These conditions are that:

  • alcohol purchased for, and supplied by, the club is done by members of club who are over 18 years of age and are elected to do so by the members
  • no person at the expense of the club receives any commission, percentage or other similar payment in regard to the purchase of alcohol by the club
  • there are no arrangements for anyone to receive a financial benefit from supplying alcohol, apart from any benefit to the club or to any person indirectly from the supply giving a gain from running the club

Registered industrial and provident societies and friendly societies will qualify if the alcohol which is purchased for, and supplied by, the club is done under the control of the members or a committee of members.

Relevant miners' welfare institutes can also be considered. A relevant institute is one that is managed by a committee or board that consists of at least two thirds of people appointed or elevated by one or more licensed operators under the Coal Industry Act 1994 and by one or more organisations who represent coal mine employees. The institute can be managed by the committee or board where the board cannot be made up as detailed above, but is made up of at least two thirds of members who were employed or are employed in or around coal mines, and also by people who were appointed by the Coal Industry Welfare Organisation, or by a body who had similar functions under the Miners' Welfare Act 1952. In any case the premises of the institute must be held on a trust as required under the Recreational Charities Act 1958.

A club can apply for a club premises certificate for any premises which are occupied and used regularly for club purposes. If the premises is located in Middlesbrough, your application should be sent to Middlesbrough Council.

Applications should be submitted with a plan of the premises (which must be in a specific format), a copy of the rules of the club, and a club operating schedule.

A club operating schedule is a document (which must be in a specific format) which includes information on:

  • the activities of the club
  • the times the activities are to take place
  • other opening times
  • if alcohol supplies are for consumption on the premises, off the premises, or both
  • the steps that the club propose to take to promote the licensing objectives
  • any other information that is required

Applicants are required to advertise their application and to give notice of the application to other responsible authorities. Contact details of these authorities can be obtained from the guidance section.

If there are any alterations to the rules or name of the club before an application is determined or after a certificate is issued, the club secretary must give details to the local licensing authority. If a certificate is in place this must be sent to the licensing authority when they are notified.

If a certificate is in place and the registered address of the club changes the club must give notice to the local licensing authority of the change and provide the certificate with the notice.

A club may apply to a local licensing authority to vary a certificate. The certificate should accompany the application.

Fees may be payable for any type of application relating to a club premises certificate. Current fees can be obtained from the guidance section.

The licensing authority must grant the application, following the statutory consultation period, if no representations are received. A hearing must be held within 28 days after the end of the consultation period if any representations are made in respect of the application. If a hearing is held, the licence can be granted, granted subject to additional conditions, certain licensable activities listed in the application can be excluded, or the application can be rejected.

Read more about the relevant legislation.
How to apply

Download and fill in the appropriate application form and return it to the Licensing service.

What happens next?

You won't be able to begin operating your business until you've had a response from the council. If you have not heard from the council within 28 days, please contact us.

The local licensing authority may inspect the premises before an application is considered.

Redress information

Please contact the Licensing department on 01642 728011 in the first instance.

A failed applicant will receive notice of the refusal of an application for a certificate or variation of a certificate from the local licensing authority. If an application is rejected, the applicant may appeal the decision. Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the decision appealed.

Any interested party may make representations to the local licensing authority before the certificate is granted or before amendments to a certificate are granted. If representations are made, a hearing will be held to consider the application and the representations. Notices will be made by the local licensing authority detailing the reasons for any outcome. Interested parties who made representations will receive notice of a failed application.

An interested party is:

  • a person living near the premises or a body representing such a person
  • a person involved in a business near the premises or a body representing such a person

An interested party may request a review of the club premises certificate. The local licensing authority will give reasons for their response to the application in a notice.

An interested party may appeal if they argue that a certificate should not have been granted or that different or additional conditions or limitations on activities should have been made. They may also appeal against any variation of a condition.

Appeals against the decision of a review can be made.

Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the decision appealed.

Customer complaint

If you are a customer of a licensed/registered premises and wish to complain about the service or products sold we would advise you to contact the trader in the first instance to resolve the matter.

Trade Associations

Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA)

Application forms



For more information about alcohol and entertainment licensing, contact the Licensing team:

Phone: 01642 728001