If you provide, or want to provide entertainment at a location within our area, you must have a valid entertainment licence.

This applies to private and public functions regardless of admission charge. An entertainment licence is required if admission to a public area is restricted by tickets or armbands for an event. Some exemptions may apply for religious occasions and some school circumstances.

You must be 18 years old or older to apply for a licence.

The type of licence you may require will depend on the type of entertainment. The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1985 requires that any premises providing entertainment must have an Entertainment Licence.

Types of entertainment requiring a licence

Live performances including:

  • theatrical performances
  • dancing, singing, music or other similar entertainment 
  • circus
  • public contests: matches, exhibitions or displays of boxing, wrestling judo and karate (or other similar sport)
  • billiards, pool, snooker or darts

The types listed above apply to both indoor and outdoor events (including temporary structures Marquees/Tepees etc.)

You do not require a licence for:

  • garden fetes or bazaars
  • religious meetings or services
  • exhibitions or sales of work
  • sports or athletic events

Types of entertainment licence

There are generally two types of entertainment: indoor and outdoor. The conditions associated with each type of licence may vary depending on the frequency of entertainment and the type of premises in which the event is to be held.

Annual licence

If regular entertainment is to be held an annual licence may be required. This type of licence allows entertainment to take place from Monday to Sunday over a 12 month period, providing specific times and in some cases special conditions.

Occasional licence

If the entertainment is likely to happen less frequently an occasional licence may be more suitable. An occasional licence is also issued annually but only allows 14 individual events within a 12 month period.  The licensing department may require the events held to be specified in writing 28 days in advance. 

Variation of licence

When a current Entertainment Licence needs amended/ varied due to a new licensee, change of event space or occupancy numbers etc. An application is required to be submitted to us for approval of the changes. 

Applying for a licence

If you wish to provide entertainment at a venue that has not been licensed in the past 3 years, you must contact our licencing team to discuss you event and venue.

New applicants must contact the licencing team 12 weeks before their proposed event. A joint inspection of your premises will be completed by the licencing team and the NIFRS. 

Renewal/ Variation Applications: Applicants can apply directly to the licencing team, by post/email on the details given below:

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council
Licencing team
Environmental Health Service Unit
Civic Headquarters
Lagan Valley Island
BT27 4RL

Tel: 028 9244 7300


Costs of an entertainment licence

The cost of an entertainment licence depends on the type of licence and the maximum licensed occupancy.

The fee when paid is non-refundable, even if your licence is refused, revoked or suspended. 

Outdoor licences

An application by a voluntary organisation or a charity relating to outdoor musical entertainments to which paragraph 2 of Article 3, Schedule 1 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1985 applies, where that place may hold:

Size Cost
Not more than 500 persons £125
Over 500 persons £250


An application, other than by a voluntary organisation or a charity, relating to outdoor musical entertainments to which paragraph 2 of Article 3, Schedule 1 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1985 applies, where that place may hold:

Size Cost
Not more than 500 persons £1,000
Over 500 persons £2,000


Indoor licences

An application relating to an indoor place of entertainment to which paragraph 1(2)(a),(b) or (d) and (6) of Article 3, Schedule 1 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, where that place or premises (as the case may be) may hold:

Size Occasional Licence Fee Full Licence Fee
Not more than 100 person £50 £100
101 to 200 person £75 £150
201 to 300 persons £125 £250
301 to 500 persons £200 £400
501 to 1,000 persons £375 £750
over 1,000 persons £500 £1,000


Costs for specific indoor licence types

Licence type Cost
Circus £50  
Amusement machines, billiards/pool/snooker venues £100 
Religious worship venues (without singing) or educational institutions £50
Voluntary organisations or charities £50
Licence variations £80

Paying your licence fee

1.  Cash paid directly to the Environmental Health Service Unit
2.  Cheque: made payable to Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council
3.  Bacs Payment (our details can be provided upon request)
4.  Card Payment over the telephone (phone 028 9244 7300 request to speak with Environmental Health admin team)

Documents required

To assist with the application process you must provide a number of associated documents which relate to your premises.

These documents must be submitted with a new licence application, renewal application or variation of an existing licence. 

A guidance pack can be provided upon request from the Licensing Department, this pack can assist with the documentation required (templates available).

Documentation Type/ Description Duration
Marked up Floor Plans Required at initial application stage
(Three copies at a scale of 1:100) Emailed PDF and three hard copies
Building Control Completion Certificate Required at initial application stage
Public Notice Annually
Public Liability Insurance Annually
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Maximum three years
Fire Alarm Certification Annually
Emergency Lighting Certification Annually
Fire Fighting Equipment Certification Annually
Gas Certification Annually
Oil Fired Boiler Service Report Annually
Ventilation Certification (Air Conditioning/ degrease of extraction system) Annually
Fire Risk Assessment Annually
Notification of structural change or major refurbishment (renewal and variation applications only) Annually


Additional documentation

For a new application the Licensing Officer may require additional information: 

  • ceiling certificate
  • floor structural certification
  • fabrics and furnishings certification
  • acoustic report

Public notice

Public Notice/ Advertisement: Must be submitted within 7 days of the licencing team receiving your application form and fee.

This legal notice must be placed in one local newspaper circulating in the vicinity of your premises. Our team will only accept a copy of the advert as it appears in the newspaper.

Church halls and places of education are exempt from the advertisement. 

Application and appeals process

It can take up to six weeks to have an application approved.  The process is:

  • upon receipt and associated documents we will inspect the premises.  This will include its management and fire safety procedures
  • we consult with the PSNI and NIFRS and take their observations into account as part of our decision making process
  • we may consult with our own building control and planning teams depending on the application
  • remedial works may be required following inspection of the premises
  • you will receive formal confirmation from our Environmental Services team.  On receipt of this you are able to provide entertainment in line with your application

The application process will be paused of we receive any objections.  We will refer any objections and the application to our Environment and Sustainability Committee for consideration by our elected members.  A decision will be made after such a meeting.

Appealing the decision

Where an application is refused, revoked, suspended or special conditions and restrictions are imposed, you have the right to appeal the decision. 

Appeals must be lodged to the County Court within 21 days of you being informed. The Courts decision will be final. 

Making objections

You must object within 28 days of the public notice in the newspaper.  You cannot object before we have received an application.

Submit your objection in writing to the council to the Director of Environmental Services or if the objection is in relation to council property please address it to the Chief Executive.

Any objection submission should be in writing.  You can email your objection to or post to us at:

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council
Licensing Department
Environmental Health Service Unit
Civic Headquarters
Lagan Valley Island
BT27 4RL