Latest Alcohol Licensing Statistics – March 2014


The latest issue of liquor licensing statistics information was published on 6 March 2014 for the period 2012/2013. A copy of the full statistics can be viewed here.

The overall number of premises licences has dropped from the 2011/12 figure of 16,379 to 16, 237, a drop of 142 licences. It may be worth remembering that before conversion to the 2005 Act there were around 20,500 licensed premises (including clubs) so since 2009 there has been a reduction of circa 4200 licences in Scotland.

47 of the licences lost were as a result of revokation, meaning 95 licences were lost for other reasons, which one must surmise include surrender and where the licence has “ceased to have effect” perhaps as a result of closure, or where no transfer application has been lodged to save the licence following an event such as death or insolvency. Selecting particular licensing boards to demonstrate the flux of licence numbers shows us the following: Aberdeen has seen an increase of 8 licences, Dundee is up by 1,  Angus has dropped 26 licences, Edinburgh has dropped by 126 licences, Glasgow has dropped by 3, East Ayrshire has dropped by 9, whilst Highland and South Lanarkshire have remained static at 1212 and 700 licences respectively.

The number of new licence applications (no differentiation is made between on and off sales) refused in 2012/13 was 12, compared to 21 in 2011/12 and 10 in 2010/11.

Glasgow has overtaken Edinburgh for the first time in the 2005 Act licensing statistics as the city with the most licences: with 1745 compared to 1725 in the capital.

The number of premises licences revoked has increased from 40 to 47 whilst the number of licences suspended has dropped from 113 to 80 (there is no detail provided on the length of the suspension). The number of cases which resulted in “no action” grew from 113 to 120.

Personal licence holders have risen considerably from 47,681 to 52,794. This figure should remain fixed in the mind of everyone connected to the trade with regards to personal licence holder refresher training. The deadline for training is fast approaching although not all of these 52k licence holders will need to be trained, only those who had a licence issued by or on 1 September 2009. We don’t have full statistical information from the time of conversion: the first full stats come from 2010/11 and at that time there were 40,286 personal licences in force.

Only 24 personal licences were revoked in 2012/13, and only 20 personal licence applications were refused in that time.

The statistics also show that there were 61.6 Licensing Standards Officers employed across Scotland.


About Stephen McGowan

Leading Scottish licensing solicitor at TLT LLP.
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