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Public Entertainment Licence

West Lothian Council operates a public entertainment licensing scheme (which includes firework displays) this licensing scheme is administered by the Council's Licensing Team.

The Licensing Team is 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. Please be aware that applications may be made either by individuals or by businesses/ organisations and there are two different application forms depending on which one is applicable. You should note that the applicant is responsible for any licence which is granted and insurance cover for the event should also obtained in the name of the applicant.

Applications For Temporary Public Entertainment Licences For Funfairs During The Covid Pandemic

The Scottish Government has published Guidance for licensing authorities in relation to operation of licensing in respect of travelling funfairs [12KB]  during the covid pandemic. In the light of this guidance the council's usual policy that applications must be made at least 35 days in advance of the event will not apply at the moment.

We will aim to process your application within 21 days but in doing so are reliant on receiving responses from our advisors in a shorter period than usual. If adverse or late comments are received we will not be able to determine your application within 21 days.  We would suggest that make your application as soon as you can to ensure that there is time to determine it prior to your event particularly if there is a need to have a Licensing Committee hearing.


The law provides that where a public entertainment scheme is in operation as it is in West Lothian a licence is required for the use of premises as a place of public entertainment.

If you are in doubt as to whether a licence is required you should ask yourself the following 3 questions -

1. Are the public being admitted to premises (including land) or allowed to use any facilities for the purposes of public entertainment? 

2. Is the type of entertainment offered included in the list of types of entertainment which requires a licence in West Lothian?

3. Does one of the statutory exemptions apply? 

See information on this webpage to assist you in making a decision. It is a criminal offence to organise public entertainment without a licence when one is required.