Licensing of premises where alcohol is sold is governed by the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and associated regulations. In Orkney, alcohol licensing is overseen by the Orkney Islands Area Licensing Board, on which Orkney Islands Councillors sit.
More information about the Licensing Board and current licensing applications are available from the 'Related Links' section of this page.
Premises are subject to a premises licence, covering all the activities carried on in those premises. These activities must be described in an operating plan, which forms part of the licence. The licence must also contain a floor plan of the premises, which must conform to relevant Regulations.
In addition, premises managers require to complete mandatory training and apply for a personal licence in order to be able to authorise sales of alcohol on licensed premises.
To allow time for the statutory consultation process, applications for premises licences, provisional premises licences or major variations of premises licences must be submitted at least two clear months before the relevant meeting of the Licensing Board. An application received after that deadline may not be processed in time for the meeting. Details of meeting dates can be obtained from the Licensing Team using the contact details shown in the Making Contact section on this page.
An application for premises licences must be accompanied by a Disabled Access and Facilities Statement. The form of Statement is available from the Related Downloads section of this page. The Scottish Government has published Guidance to assist applicants. The link to the guidance is available from the Related Sites section of this page.
If an outdoor area is already licensed as part of the premises licence, it will be permitted to operate in accordance with, legislation, regulations and directions of the UK and Scottish Governments relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether relating to the protection of public health, restrictions of social gatherings, requirement for social distancing or otherwise.
If you are not sure whether an outdoor area is already licensed, you can check by contacting the Licensing Team using the contact details shown in the Making Contact section on this page.
If the outdoor area - or a new part of it - is not already licensed, the licensee can apply for an occasional licence to license the area temporarily. An occasional licence can be issued for a period of up to 14 days. A number of applications can be submitted at the same time to cover continuous periods of 14 days – please liaise with the Licensing Team regarding exact dates.
Licensees must complete an application form for occasional licence, published as Related Download (RD) numbered 20 on this page. This must be submitted together with:
All applications are dealt with on their merits, having regard to the specifics of new physical areas and implications for public health. The process can take approximately 6 weeks. The precise timescale will depend on responses received from the statutory consultees but, in all cases, we aim to process applications as swiftly as possible.
For a permanent Variation to include new outdoor areas within a licence, the Licensing Team will provide additional information on request.
Personal licence holders may be premises managers, but applications can be made by other persons. Further information is available in the Related Download called Guidance for applicants on this page.
Personal licence holders must undertake refresher training within 5 years of the date of issue of their personal licence and within each subsequent period of 5 years during which their licences have effect. Evidence must be submitted to the Licensing Board.
Personal licences have effect for a period of 10 years and are capable of being renewed. Before licence holders can apply for renewal of personal licences, they must pass an up to date refresher training course.
Licensing boards are required to give personal licence holders notice of the requirement to undertake refresher training within the specified periods and to renew their licences.
Personal licence holders must keep the Licensing Board informed of any change of name or address. They must write to the Licensing Team using the contact details shown in the Making Contact section on this page and submit:
The following tables of fees which apply are available on this page:
Documents listed below are available from the 'Related Downloads' section on this page:
To allow time for the statutory consultation process, applications for occasional licences must be submitted as far in advance of the event as possible, but not later than four weeks before the event is due to take place. If the event is of an unusual or large scale nature, the application must be submitted not later than six weeks before the event is due to take place. Applications received after those deadlines may not be processed in time. Queries about processing timescales can be made to the Licensing Team using the contact details shown in the Making Contact section on this page.
The following documents are available from the Related Downloads section:
The following table sets out the fees which have been determined for an initial premises licence application and the annual premises licence fee in terms of the Licensing (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2007.
|Category||Rateable Value of Premises between £||Initial Fee||Annual Fee|
|1.||Premises which have no rateable value, clubs and certain other premises.||£200.00.||£180.00.|
|2.||1 and 11,500.||£800.00.||£220.00.|
|3.||11,501 and 35,000.||£1,100.00.||£280.00.|
|4.||35,001 and 70,000.||£1,300.00.||£500.00.|
|5.||70,001 and 140,000.||£1,700.00.||£700.00.|
The initial fee is payable on making the application, and the annual fee will be due on 1 October each year.
|A.||Transfer on application of licence holder, which includes an application for variation of the premises licence.||£200.|
|B.||Transfer on application of licence holder, which does not include an application for variation of the premises licence.||£150.|
|C.||Transfer on application of person other than licence holder, which includes an application for variation of the premises licence.||£200.|
|D.||Transfer on application of person other than licence holder, which does not include an application for variation of the premises licence.||£150.|
|A.||Variation of any of the conditions to which the licence is subject.||£100.|
|B.||Variation of any of the information contained in the operating plan.||£100.|
|C.||Variation of the layout plan which results in inconsistency with the operating plan.||£100.|
|D.||Variation of the layout plan which does not result in inconsistency with the operating plan.||£20.|
|E.||Variation of the information contained or referred to in the licence.||£100.|
|F.||Where children and young persons are allowed entry to the premises, any variation reflecting any restriction or proposed restriction of the terms on which they are allowed entry to the premises.||£20.|
|G.||Variation of the information contained in the licence relating to the premises manager (including variation to substitute a premises manager).||£20.|
|H.||Application under section 31(1) of the Act i.e. the applicant requests that the variation to substitute another individual as the premises manager should have immediate effect and any other variation sought is a minor variation.||£31.|
|A.||Temporary premises licence.||£800.|
|C.||Replacement personal licence.||£20.|
Anyone requiring further information about this topic should contact:
If you would like to see someone in person to discuss a licensing matter please contact the Licensing Team to make an appointment.