Catering Scotland

Glasgow’s Draft Licensing Policy Has Arrived: Here’s What the Experts at Graham and Sibbald Are Saying

 Breaking News
  • Graham and Sibbald Announce Directorship Roles OIOpublisher Chartered surveyors and business valuation experts, Graham and Sibbald have announced the promotion of Kevin Hunter and Scott Graham to director. With more than 12 years’ experience, Kevin (pictured...

Glasgow’s Draft Licensing Policy Has Arrived: Here’s What the Experts at Graham and Sibbald Are Saying

September 12
12:55 2018

The Draft Licensing Policy Statement announced by Glasgow’s Licensing Board last month pertains to various areas of ongoing contention, including the ‘Agent of Change’ principle, plastic consumption, the use of toughened glass and the management of outdoor drinking.

Pete Seymour outlines the more positive aspects that an extension will bring to clubbing in the city.

In August 2008, Glasgow was welcomed into the Creative Cities network when it was acknowledged as a UNESCO City of Music, an accolade which has continued its reaffirmation over the past decade. The city’s Licensing Board acknowledges the vibrance within the nightlife economy and its reputation on an international stage and the extension in licensing hours attempts to allow this reputation to flourish.

However, while the additional one licensed hour is a positive step, music tourism in Glasgow is currently being stifled by competitors including Manchester, Leeds and London, all of which benefit from 6am and 7am extended late licenses. Indeed, there are a handful of 24-hour venues now appearing in the capital.

The new draft licensing policy statement sets out a requirement for venues to demonstrate that music will be played on a live basis, with the ability for speed, tempo and pitch to be altered while two tracks play simultaneously through the appropriate equipment.

The restricted opening hours in Glasgow means that punters have less time to enjoy the DJs perform while entry fees remain high. A shorter night makes it less attractive to other UK cities where they can be out enjoying the performance longer, with many DJs saying their Glasgow sets are rushed as a result. Furthermore, international DJs typically command the same fee regardless of the host location. It follows that allowing artists to play later is more financially attractive for operators who can open longer and can generate more bar sales as a result.

Likewise, the option to extend nights could essentially open up the catchment area for a night out in the city, as it makes the travel time and any door entry fee seem more worthwhile. This is also relevant for tourists when selecting which UK city will be their destination for a long weekend.

As it stands, the licensing board will only grant extended hours to nightclubs that have clearly shown their commitment to best practice and is justifiable with gold or higher in the Best Bar None award scheme. Nightclubs that do not meet the requirements to apply for the later licence will not gain extensions, as the board seeks to reward best practice.  As a result, such venues will likely lose out to competitors who have been granted the extension.

Pete Seymour is Head of Licensed Trade and Leisure Agency at Graham & Sibbald. 

A series of four community engagement events run throughout September. Visit to view the document in full. The consultation period ends on 5th October. For more information on this and other commercial property-related matters, visit



About Author

Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Only registered users can comment.