Occasional Licence

An occasional licence is required in terms of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 for the temporary sale of alcohol at a venue, or part of a venue, which is not covered by a premises licence and in certain circumstances for the sale of alcohol at members clubs where they are open to the public for specific events (see below for further information regarding clubs).

The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) continues to have a significant impact on the processing of licence applications.

If you need to get in touch with the Licensing Team, please do so by email to the following address licensingservices@westlothian.gov.uk email enquiries will be prioritised and responded to on a priority/urgent basis.

In the meantime, applications for licences and permits should be posted along with cheques or postal orders for payment of any fee required and copies of all required supporting documentation to;

Licensing Team
West Lothian Council
Civic Centre
EH54 6FF

If you are unable to post your application and fee please contact the Licensing Team by email.

Please be aware that there will likely be delays in the processing of applications due to changes in working conditions due to the ongoing situation. 

If you require an occasional licence within West Lothian then you must make an application under the 2005 Act to the West Lothian Licensing Board. The Licensing Team are able to provide general guidance on a scheme but cannot assist you to complete your application form or provide legal advice on whether a licence is required. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice centre if you are unsure as to whether you require a licence. Applicants should consult the alcohol licensing webpages for general guidance before making any application.

Any sale of alcohol requires to be licensed regardless of the quantity. This includes where alcohol is supplied by a club to one of its members and where it is supplied to a person under a contract, for example where a person purchases a ticket for an event that includes as part of the ticket the supply of alcohol.

An occasional licence would be appropriate where for example the holder of a premises licence wishes to make provision for the sale of alcohol at a wedding reception or other event held outside the boundaries of the licensed premises. Another example would be one-off events where the intention is to sell alcohol on a temporary basis for a specified time-period at a venue that is otherwise unlicensed. Such one-off events can range from large scale music concerts lasting over a number of days to smaller community based fundraising events organised by voluntary organisations.

Please note that, in accordance with section 10.5 of the Board's statement of licensing policy, in order to allow sufficient time for applications to be processed and determined, applications for occasional licences must be submitted at least 35 days prior to the date of the proposed event.  Ideally applications should be made at least three months before the event to allow plenty of time for the application to be processed and determined before the event. Late applications for emergency and unforeseen events will only be considered in certain circumstances. Please see below for further information regarding this.

Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing
Who can apply for an occasional licence?
How long does an occasional licence last?
Change to law - removal of exemption from requirement to hold a public entertainment licence
What is a voluntary organisation?
Voluntary organisations: restrictions
Clubs: restrictions
Emergency and unforeseen events
How to apply for an occasional licence
Application fee
Application process
Occasional licence conditions
How to object to or make a representation regarding an application for an occasional licence