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Alcohol and entertainment licensing

Individuals or organisations which provide certain licensable activities, such as selling alcohol, providing regulated entertainment, or supplying late-night refreshment, must hold licences to authorise these activities, under the Licensing Act 2003.

Find out more information about alcohol and entertainment licensing and how you can apply by visiting the links on the right of this page.  

COVID-19 advice 

All applications must be submitted electronically to and related payments must be made online at our online payment page.

There are new regulations from 12 April 2021 for alcohol licensing as part of the government's plan for reopening business and venues. Please see our web page on covid-19 regulations for licensed premises from 12 April.

Please refer to the latest Government guidance on keeping workers and customers safe during Covid-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.  

During the Coronavirus outbreak the licensing team remains operational with reduced staff and facilities and is working to continue to support local businesses, whilst promoting the licensing objectives. As far as possible, we will endeavour to process LA2003 applications by email. Our COVID-19 advice for alcohol licensing provides important information and guidance to help you at this time.

Some businesses will be able to continue to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises where authorised by the premises licence. If this applies to your business, please read this advice for an alcohol delivery service. Advice for premises with a premises licence who want to operate an alcohol delivery licence.  

Please refer to latest Government guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003 introduced significant changes to licensing laws. The provisions of that Act, as originally enacted, has, in turn, been subsequently amended significantly and amalgamated six existing licensing regimes:

  • alcohol
  • public entertainment
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • late night refreshment houses
  • night cafes

Within this section you can:

  • download application forms
  • find out general information about what we do
  • pay for a licence

Downloadable documents

To download copies of the information leaflets and application forms regarding the Licensing Act 2003, please go to the relevant pages listed below:

Cumulative Impact Policy areas adopted

Bedford Licensing Study and Cumulative Impact Assessment

Please note that with effect from May 2018 three Cumulative Impact Policy areas apply to the following licence types. Details of the premises which are within the boundary areas are available via the links below.

The effect of adopting a Cumulative Impact Policy is to create a "rebuttable presumption". That is, if relevant representations are received, applications for new premises licences and club premises certificates or material variations to existing licences / certificates will not be granted, unless the applicant can demonstrate that the operation of the premises involved will not add to the cumulative impact being experience in a particular area.

Please contact the Licensing Team for further information if required.

Public Registers

A Public Register showing details of a premise can be viewed at the links below:

Further information

General matters:

Film classification policy 

View the full film classification policy here: Film classification policy

The level of the fee for the classification of films is set at £75, plus £1 per minute for the full length of the submitted work and any translation fee is met by the applicant. 

GDPR and Privacy Statements

View the full GDPR privacy statement for Licensing here

Contact Licensing

Should you require further information please contact the Licensing Team as follows:


Bedford Borough Council
Licensing Service
Cauldwell Street
Bedford MK42 9AP