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The Licensing Act 2003 Statement Of Licensing Policy January 2021

Welcome to Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Statement of Licensing Policy

The Council adopted its first Statement of Licensing Policy in January 2005 when the responsibility for licensing was transferred from the Magistrates' Court. The  policy was reviewed in 2011, 2016 and readopted in 2021. We are now legally obliged to renew it every five years. This revised Statement has been adopted by the Council.

This document sets out the guiding principles for making licensing decisions under the Licensing Act 2003. The Statement of Licensing Policy addresses the licensing of many venues and events - from nightclubs to the smallest pubs and off-licences, from the Stockton International Riverside Festival to small scale community events. We have a responsibility to balance the needs of residents, visitors, pub/club operators and local businesses. In doing this our aim at all times is to promote the four licensing objectives laid down within the Act: 

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm
  • ensuring public safety

The Borough features a wealth of different entertainment and cultural activities with popular nightspots in Stockton Town Centre and in busy suburban areas like Norton and Yarm. The area is also home to a thriving range of live arts with the ARC, a venue consisting of theatres, a cinema, exhibition rooms, cafes and bars; the Georgian Theatre located in Stockton's Cultural Quarter which features live music performances and acoustic sessions; and the Billingham Forum Theatre, a 650-seat venue offering a wide range of entertainment.

Commercially promoted events take place in a variety of locations throughout the Borough whilst the Council has a strong tradition of promoting a wide range of entertainment and cultural activity for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. This includes the hugely popular Stockton International Riverside Festival which brings internationally renowned street theatre and dance to Stockton; and Billingham International Folklore Festival, a celebration of music, song and dance featuring folklore ensembles from across the world.

We believe that this Statement of Licensing Policy represents as fair a way as possible of balancing the needs and desires of everyone in the Borough. We hope that it will help to maintain the Borough's reputation of providing a safe, vibrant and varied centre of entertainment and culture for everybody.

Councillor Steve Nelson

Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety