Licences and Permits

Licences and Permits

This resource will signpost you to the relevant licences and permissions you need for running events and activities.

Community events are a great way of bringing people together and there are a whole host of pop-up activities you can provide.

There are certain events and activities that require specific licences and these are generally related to the exchange of money or goods, irrespective of whether the proceeds are going towards a good cause. Knowing whether your activities are exempt from certain licences and regulations can be a difficult process, getting it wrong can lead to fines and in some cases more severe penalties. You will need to seek permission from Warrington Borough Council if you decide to organise an event or run an activity that requires a licence.


Temporary Event Notice

If you wish to hold an event in Warrington, you must give a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) to the council at least 10 working days before the event. It relates to the type of activity that will be taking place that requires a licence to operate (and isn’t covered by a licence as you would find in a pub or bar). Licensable activity includes:

  • selling alcohol
  • serving alcohol to members of a private club
  • providing entertainment, such as music, dancing or indoor sporting events
  • serving hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am

Your event must:

  • have fewer than 500 people at all times – including staff running the event
  • last no more than 168 hours (7 days)

For example, the Warrington Neighbourhood weekend festival needs to obtain a TEN but so would a low-key community fun day in a park.

TEN’s cost £21 per licence and can be obtained from Warrington Borough Council.

Other licences relate to the type of activity you do. This ranges from street sales to pop-up shops and cafes. If you’re trading then chances are you’ll need a licence. You can find a list of the activities that require licences and permits here. If you’re planning to run events or activities that will include traders or people selling produce it’s best to check with Warrington Borough Council first.



Many small raffles don’t need to be registered. These are:

  • Raffles run during the course of another event, such as a fête or party.
  • Raffles that are restricted to members of a group or club
  • Raffles that are restricted to people who all live on the same premises or work for the same organisation
  • Raffles that are restricted to customers of a business.

Raffles in which tickets are sold to members of the public in advance must be registered.


An incidental non-commercial lottery

This is a raffle that takes place during the course of an event – e.g. the tickets are sold and the raffle drawn during a meeting, fête or party.  It does not need to be registered. Tickets can only be sold at the event and the winners must be announced at the event. No more than £100 can be spent on organising costs, and no more than £500 can be spent on prizes. There are additional restrictions if you wish to have alcohol as prizes.


A private society lottery

This is a raffle where the sale of tickets is restricted to members of your society (club, group or organisation). It does not need to be registered. You can also sell tickets to non-members (guests) but only on your organisation’s premises. Proceeds must go to the organisation or another charitable purpose (after organising costs and prizes are deducted). Again, there are additional restrictions if you wish to have alcohol as prizes.


Prize Gaming and Gambling

Prize gaming is intended to allow low level gaming for small fees and small prizes which can include cash. Playing bingo at a seaside resort is a good example of prize gaming. Prize gaming can consist of a number of games as long as the fees and prizes do not exceed set limits.

The current regulations are:

  • the maximum participation fee for a chance to win a prize in a single game is 50p (even if paying for that chance offers the opportunity of more than one prize). The total amount you can bet in one game is £500.
  • a money prize cannot exceed £35 (except in an Adult Gaming Centre where the limit is £50). The total amount of prizes cannot exceed £500.


Non-Commercial gambling

There are some exemptions for good causes where the activity is solely for the beneficiaries. For example, this could be for a group that meet up to play Bingo. The money raised as prizes in the Bingo go towards the group, therefore, no proceeds are for private profit.


Performing or playing copyright material


If you want to perform music written by someone else, or if you want to play recorded music or video, the premises you are using will need a licence to play copyrighted music.

  • If your event includes live music you must check the venue has a Performing Rights Society (PRS) licence.
  • If you are playing recorded music you must check the venue has a PRS licence AND a Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) licence.
  • Community buildings run by voluntary organisations can buy a joint PRS and PPL licence.
  • For more information contact Phonographic Performance Limited or PRS for Music.

Generally, for a venue, this costs around £200 per year. Additional fees may apply. Check with the venue as you may need to cover some of these costs if you’re playing and performing live music.


If you wish to show a film in a place which is not a private home, you need a one-off licence giving you the right to show the film. You have to buy a new licence for every film. There are very few exceptions to this, one of which is that you do not need a licence to show a curriculum-based film in a state school.

To obtain a copyright licence to screen a film, there are certain distributors who hold the licences. Filmbank holds a lot, you can apply for a single-screen licence (one-off screening) which costs around £80 (depending on your ticket sales and profit). For useful information about organising film showings, see BFI Neighbourhood Cinema.




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