Consultation on guidance on the provisions for licensing of sexual entertainment venues and changes to licensing of theatres

Closed 7 Feb 2018

Opened 1 Nov 2017

Feedback updated 19 Jul 2018

We asked

We welcomed comments on:

a)  any areas within the draft non-statutory Guidance on the Provisions for   Licensing of Sexual Entertainment Venues and Changes to Licensing of Theatres which were unclear or not easily understood
b)  other issues which should be taken into account within the guidance.


You said

In total, 31 responses were received.  These responses provided a range of views in relation to the clarity of the draft guidance and offered some suggestions on other issues which could be included. The responses will help to shape the final version of the guidance.

We did

We published the non-confidential responses to the consultation and a summary of the responses.  We are working towards finalising the guidance which will be published to support the implementation of the provisions at section 74 and section 76 of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015.  A commencement order will be laid in due course.

Results updated 19 Jul 2018

Consultation on: Guidance on the Provisions for Licensing of Sexual Entertainment Venues and Changes to Licensing of Theatres - Summary of Responses



Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 (the ‘2015 Act’) provides for the creation of a new non-mandatory licensing regime for sexual entertainment venues (SEV), such as lap dancing clubs. The provisions, when commenced, will allow local authorities to licence such venues under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (the “1982 Act”).

This allows for greater local control over the provision of such venues by permitting local authorities to reflect the views of the communities they serve in determining whether sexual entertainment venues should be licensed within their areas and if so, how many and under what conditions. Where a local authority determines to licence SEV, any premises in which the particular activities provided fall under the definition of a SEV, will require to be licensed with only very limited exemptions.

Why your views matter

The legislation also requires that, in carrying out its functions in relation to SEV, a local authority must have regard to guidance issued by Ministers. The purpose of this consultation is to invite views on the draft non-statutory guidance which has been developed.

While the draft guidance includes some material on the repeal of the existing mandatory licensing regime for theatrical performances under section 12 of the Theatre Act 1968, the prime intention of the guidance is to assist local authorities in taking forward work in relation to licensing SEV and to help ensure that such activities take place in safe and regulated environments. It is a technical document to support the operation of the new licensing regime seeking to explain the legislation in layman’s terms.

The guidance should not be taken as an authoritative statement as to the law nor should it be seen as a replacement for independent legal advice.

Please note that the consultation is not seeking views on the legislation relating to the licensing of SEV. This was fully explored during the parliamentary passage of the 2015 Act and any comments received in relation to the legislation itself will not be reflected in our analysis of the responses.

Download the consultation paper.


  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Public Sector
  • Law and Order