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Licensing national significance

Your English pub has long been a hub for the community, somewhere to gather at times of ‘national significance’.

One hangover from the World Cup Final that hasn’t gone away is the need for flexibility where that community wants to share in events beyond Greenwich Mean Time.

The match kicked off at 11 am. Many pubs were not allowed to serve until midday. If you want to sell alcohol outside your usual permitted hours at late notice, a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) is the way to go.  This, however, requires five working days’ notice.

With a mid-week semi-final, this was not doable for a Sunday final. Although Westminster can alter the rules for occasions of national significance, like the platinum jubilee in 2022, this can only happen when Parliament isn’t in recess!

Emma McClarkin of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

“Despite the Lionesses not being able to claim victory…, they won the hearts of the nation and inspired the millions of people who cheered them on at the pub and elsewhere through their heroic performance in this tournament.”

“It’s great that this success was able to give a boost to our pubs after a year where they’ve faced a range of challenges from unsustainably high energy bills to double-digit duty increases.

“Despite the government’s valuable work encouraging local authorities to support pubs…, we now need the law to reflect the reality that strict, prescriptive licensing cannot easily flex when key events are taking place while parliament is not sitting.”


I’m too young to remember 1966. I might be too old to see another England team playing in a World Cup Final, but I hope not!

Across the North West, those pubs that survived Covid need a less prescriptive approach from government to allow them to be able to respond to the demands of our communities who may want to come together and share in moments of national importance over a pint. It is not a big ask.

For more information about this article or to arrange a free audit of your licensed premises, contact your Napthens Solicitors in Preston, Blackburn, and across the North West today.