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Liquor Licensing Statistics Scotland 2014-15

Published: 25 Nov 2015 09:30
Part of:
Law and order

An Official Statistics release for Scotland

Scotland's Chief Statistician has today released Liquor licensing statistics Scotland 2014-15. This is being released as a web table showing information on premises and personal licences in force, applications, reviews/proceedings as well as numbers of licensing standards officers employed and the number of occasional licences issued.

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 came fully into force in September 2009 and this release reflects the fifth full year of operation under the new licensing arrangements.

The overall number of premises licences in force on 31 March 2015, at just over 16,600, has shown a very slight upward trend over the last five years, increasing by 2 per cent since March 2011.

Some of the other main findings from the data are:

  • Just under 70 per cent of premises licenses in force at March 2015 related to licenses which allowed for on sales transactions, with the remaining 31 per cent related to off-sales only.
  • Forty-one per cent of applications received for premises licenses in 2014-15 were for off-sale only.
  • Three per cent of applications for premises licences under section 23 of the 2005 Act in 2014-15 were refused.
  • The number of personal licences in force at March 2015 fell by 13 per cent compared with March 2014, a fall which was expected due to the revocation of some licences where people failed to undertake refresher training within five years of their licence being issued.
  • Scottish local authorities employed a full-time equivalent of 60 licensing standards officers at March 2015, only slightly less than a year earlier.
  • A total of 22,800 occasional licences were issued by local authorities during 2014-15.

Notes to editors

1. The web table can be accessed at

2. Key changes introduced by the Licensing (Scotland) 2005 Act include:

  • Replacing all previous licence categories with a single premises licence and a personal licence and occasional licence.
  • Inclusion of premises operating plans and layout plans with licence applications.
  • Personal licensees must hold an accredited licensing qualification.
  • Mandatory training for staff who sell or serve alcohol.

3. Under Section 23 of the 2005 Act, a licensing board is required to hold a hearing for the purposes of considering and determining an application for a premises licence.

4. In 2014-15, numbers were collected for the first time on occasional licences granted and on revocations of personal licences under Section 87(3) of the 2005 Act.

5. The totals for personal licences for the years 2010-11 to 2013-14 have been revised as a result of new figures being provided for the City of Edinburgh council area.

6. This is an Official Statistics release for Scotland. Official and National Statistics are produced to professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs and are produced free from political interference. More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: