Scotland - Edinburgh consult on future of theatre licensing
From 27th January 2021 The Theatres Act 1968 (the Act) will no longer be in force in Scotland. This is because of changes brought about by the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 which will be fully implemented from that date. The Act was earlier repealed in England and Wales in 2005; theatres in Engladn & Wales are now licensed under the Premises Licence regime introduced by the Licensing Act 2003.
The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 allows the Council to choose what types of premises, activities or events it wishes to license within the council area in respect of Public Entertainment. Edinburgh are now consulting on whether to include theatres within its Public Entertainment Resolution.
Should theatres not be included, premises would no longer be licensed and would in effect be unregulated. This is an issue which will have impact across Scotland and will be a matter for each Council to decide how to deal with the issue in their area. Similar consulations can be expected by other Councils.
The issue of theatres is particularly important in Edinburgh which is home of an internationally famous festival of arts each August with ‘theatres’ popping up across the city.