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Securing a premises licence for an independent music store

How we helped an independent music store and live music venue secure a premises licence

The sixth UK store will become Rough Trade’s largest national location, inclusive of a dedicated venue space.

Rough Trade to open brand new 6500 square foot store in the North West.

Rough Trade have confirmed that they are set to expand into Liverpool. Having already spread across Bristol, Nottingham and London, the new store, located on Handover Street, is rumored to be their biggest and most impressive store yet since opening their first store in 1976.

The brand is known for being an independent music store and live music venue with a bar, celebrating the most exciting new music from local and global artists communities. Therefore, a new premises licence was needed.

The licensing legal problem

Under the Licensing Act 2003, which regulates alcohol and entertainment, the following licensable activities were discussed and agreed with the client; exhibition of film, performance of live music, playing of recorded music, provision or late night refreshment and sale by retail of alcohol.

We devised a clear licensing strategy to give our client the best chance to obtain the licensing permissions needed for the business. To minimise risk, a pre application consultation was conducted with key responsible authorities and contacts. This included:

  • police
  • environmental health
  • licensing authorities

Taking on board the feedback from the consultation, we crafted a robust operating schedule within the premises licence application. This included conditions offered to ensure the promotion of the licensing objectives.

The legal value we added:

Subsequently, the application received a representation from the local environmental health officer requesting additional conditions.

Representations, if not withdraw, mean a licensing hearing would be needed to decide the fate of the application.

To minimise the impact of the hearing on the premises licence application, we undertook consultation and negotiated with the officer to successfully agree conditions that both addressed the officer’s concerns around mitigating public nuisance and noise pollution, whilst also being operationally workable for the client’s business.

Result to the application

With minor conditions, the premises licence was obtained swiftly with minimal delay. And the client was thrilled with the eliminated risk of having a hearing and the additional costs that would have come with it.

Following grant of the application, Rough Trade wrote and said:

“Many thanks to Poppleston Allen and Suraj Desor for the smooth and professional work in obtaining our premises licence for Rough Trade Liverpool. We can’t wait to start trading at our forthcoming venue bar on Hanover Street in the spring.”

Managing Director at Rough Trade, Lawrence Montgomery, also said:

“Very helpful and efficient in our application for license at a new location.” 

Licensing expert and associate solicitor, Suraj Desor, who was instructed to deal with the application on behalf of Rough Trade commented:

“It has been a pleasure working with the Rough Trade team and I am pleased we were able to navigate the licensing requirements to successfully obtain a premises licence for the client swiftly, in line with the business’s timelines, so they can begin trading from their impressive new site this spring. I look forward to visiting the store once its opened.”

To see how our teams could help you, contact the London office on 0203 859 7760 or Nottingham on 0115 953 8500.

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