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Fireworks licensing

The storage of fireworks is regulated by the Explosives Regulations 2014. It's a criminal offence to store and/or sell fireworks without a licence.

Guidance

There are strict legal requirements on the sale, supply, and storage of fireworks. If you store fireworks for sale it's your legal duty to:

  • prevent a fire or explosion

  • limit the possible extent of fire or explosion, including measures to prevent the spreading of fires and explosions from one location to another

  • protect people from the effects of a fire or explosion

Guidance on all the requirements relating to fireworks is available on the Business Companion website. It's your responsibility to make sure you understand and follow the legal requirements. We may take enforcement action against you if you aren't storing fireworks safely. Guidance on storage requirements is available on the HSE website.

Licence to store fireworks

Who to apply to

If you want to store more than 5kg and less than 2000kg net weight of fireworks, you'll need to apply to the council for a licence.

For quantities above 2000kg net weight, you'll need to apply to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for a licence.

Application and fees

To apply for a licence to store and sell fireworks, please download and complete the firework storage application form.

You must have a separate licence for every premises where you wish to store explosives or show fireworks for sale.

Licences are available from 1 to 5 years. The fees are as follows:

1 year licence - £111
2 year licence - £144
3 year licence - £177
4 year licence - £211
5 year licence - £243

Renewal
1 year licence - £55
2 year licence - £88
3 year licence - £123
4 year licence - £155
5 year licence - £189      

Please note, if this is the first time that you've applied for a licence in Middlesbrough, you may only be eligible for a 1 year licence. If you've previously held a licence but the licence has expired, you'll have to pay the fee for a new licence, rather than a renewal, when you submit your application.

Licences only apply to the person and premises mentioned on the licence. If you want to change any details you must contact us to apply for a variation or transfer of your licence.

Evidence

You'll also need to provide the following with your application:

  • a risk assessment for the storage of explosives

  • site location and plans of the storage, showing separation distances from other risks

  • proof of authorisation from your landlord (if applicable) that explosives may be stored at the site

  • the required fee (these vary according to the type of premises and quantity)

Please note, you'll need insurance to cover the storage of explosives.

Returning applications

Complete the firework storage application form and return it to: Public Protection Service, PO Box 505, Civic Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FZ. You must enclose a cheque for the correct fee, made payable to Middlesbrough Council. Alternatively, you can phone 01642 726525 to pay by credit or debit card. Please quote reference 'CC11008 fireworks', and your business name.

After we've received your application and payment, we'll contact you to arrange a visit to the premises you intend to sell fireworks from. The approval of a licence to store or sell fireworks is not automatic. It will depend on the approval of the inspector who visits your premises. We'll be looking to decide whether your business and premises is suitable, and would meet the necessary legal requirements, to be granted a licence for the storage of fireworks.

Once we've visited your premises, you'll then be either granted or refused an explosives licence to store fireworks. If your application is granted, you'll be issued with a licence which you'll need to display in a prominent position in your premises. Any licence will be granted subject to the limits of the net explosive content (NEC) mentioned on the licence. The licence may also contain additional conditions.

You must not store or sell fireworks unless you have received a valid explosives licence from Middlesbrough Council, or you could commit an offence under the Explosives Regulations 2014.

If you're refused a licence, you'll be sent a letter explaining why your application was refused and how you can appeal against the decision. Your appeal (also called a 'representation') must be submitted within 28 days. It should be sent to: Judith Hedgley, Head of Public Protection, PO Box 505, Civic Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FW.

Licence to sell fireworks all year

You can only sell fireworks during the following periods:

  • on the first day of Chinese New Year and the three days immediately before it

  • on the day of Diwali and the three days immediately before it

  • during the period 15 October to 10 November

  • during the period 26 December to 31 December

If you want to sell fireworks outside of these periods, you'll need an additional licence under the Fireworks Regulations 2004.

Application form

To apply for the all year licence please download and complete the all year sale of fireworks application. The fee for the all year licence is £500.

Returning applications

Please return your application to:

Public Protection Team
Middlesbrough Council
PO Box 505
Civic Centre
Middlesbrough
TS1 9FZ.

Cheques should be made payable to Middlesbrough Borough Council.