In terms of the Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations 2004 the use of an adult firework (as defined in the 2004 Regulations) between the hours of 11pm and 7am is prohibited. However, professional organisers or operators of firework displays can apply for dispensations from this prohibition.
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: email@example.com
Email enquiries will be prioritised and responded to on a priority/urgent basis. We cannot accept phone calls at present.
In the meantime, applications for licences and permits (with the exception of hire car applications, please refer to the hire car webpages for details of how to make these) should be posted to the
West Lothian Council,
along with cheques or postal orders for payment of any fee required and copies of all required supporting documentation.
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 at present.
If you are an event organiser you should note that when possible applicants will be able to email amended applications for events which have been postponed due to Covid-19 as long as the details of the event remain exactly the same and only the event date is changing, any other changes to event details will require a new application to be submitted in the usual manner.
The firework dispensation scheme is administered by the Council's Licensing Team. The Team is able to provide general guidance on the scheme but cannot assist you to complete your application form or provide legal advice on whether a dispensation is required. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice centre if you are unsure as to whether you require a dispensation.
Fireworks displays and use of an adult firework during night hours
Under thethe use of an adult firework (as defined in the 2004 Regulations) between the hours of 11pm and 7am is prohibited. Under the Fireworks Act 2003 any contravention of this prohibition is an offence, punishable e on summary conviction to imprisonment or a fine or both. Breaches of this legislation should be reported to Police Scotland.
Exceptions to the above for certain nights
The above prohibition does not apply to permitted hours on permitted nights which are:
- beginning at 11pm on the first day of Chinese New Year and ending at 1am the following day;
- beginning at 11pm on 5 November and ending at midnight on 5 November;
- beginning at 11pm on the day of Diwali and ending at 1am the following day; and
- beginning at 11pm on 31 December and ending at 1am the following day.
The council as local authority may grant dispensation from the above prohibition. The effect of dispensation is that it exempts the holder from the above prohibition and so permits them to use fireworks between the hours of 11pm and 7am e.g. as part of a night time fireworks display.
By law dispensation can only be given to any person who is:
- employed by, or in business as, a professional organiser or operator of firework displays;
- employed by a department of the Government of the United Kingdom or by the Scottish Executive or an agency of the Scottish Executive; or
- employed by an establishment of the naval, military or air forces of the Crown;
to enable that person to use fireworks:
- for the purposes of putting on a firework display for their employer or in the course of their business (as the case may be); or
- at a national public celebration or a national commemorative event.
For dispensation to be granted the council must be satisfied that:
(a) there is no risk that use of fireworks in accordance with the dispensation will have any of the consequences mentioned in section 2(2) of the Fireworks Act 2003:
- death of persons or injury, alarm, distress or anxiety to persons;
- death of animals or injury or distress to animals; or
- destruction of, or damage to, property);
(b) that the risk that use of fireworks in accordance with the dispensation will have any such consequences is the minimum that is compatible with their being used.
Please note that by law applications for dispensation must be received by the council not later than 6 weeks prior to the proposed fireworks display, national public celebration or national commemorative event.
An application form and guidance notes are available from the downloads section of this page.
Please note that there is no fee for the application.
Please note that the Licensing Team can provide general guidance on the scheme but cannot assist you to complete your application form or provide legal advice as to whether dispensation is required. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice centre if you are unsure as to whether you require dispensation.
Please also note that by law where dispensation is given it is not effective unless public notice has been given by you as the holder of the dispensation in a newspaper in accordance with Regulation 4(9) of the Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations 2004 no later than 7 days prior to the commencement of the event.
Applications which do not attract any adverse comments/objections are granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers. All other applications require to be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination. You will be advised if your application is being referred to the Licensing Committee. The Committee meets on a monthly basis.
Complaints about events which are not covered by a dispensation should be made to Police Scotland by calling 101.