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Government Announce Major Change to Licensing Act

June 19, 2013

A major amendment to the Licensing Act 2003 is to remove the requirement for entertainment licenses between 8am and 11pm, for performances of plays and exhibitions of dance (up to audience limits of 500 people), and indoor sport up to audiences of 1,000 people. The Licensing Act 2003 (Descriptions of Entertainment) (Amendment) Order 2013 comes into force from Thursday 27th June. The change comes as a result of comments made in the 2011 consultation on the regulatory regime for entertainment licensing. Speaking at the House of Lords debate on the subject Lord Gardiner of Kimble the house’s spokesman for Culture Media and Sport said; “In the Government’s response to the consultation, we explained that there was a general consensus that these three areas could be deregulated as there was nothing intrinsic to these activities that required regulation that is not already adequately dealt with through other legislation.”

The order which will be accompanied by revised guidance also clarifies the position on combined fighting sports, such as mixed martial arts, and makes clear that exhibitions of dance of an adult nature will not be de-regulated. Lord Gardiner did however tell the house that further changes will follow in the near future “we think that the second phase of consideration is the best place to deregulate the low-risk Olympic disciplines of freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. The third phase relates to film, and the Government intend to consult on measures to aid film exhibition in community venues.”  

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