Pubs will be permitted to stay open for longer to mark the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Licensed premises in England and Wales will be allowed to continue trading until 1am on the nights of Friday May 18th and Saturday May 19th – the day of the wedding itself – without applying for an extension. The relaxation of licensing regulations will only apply to on-trade establishments, rather than off-licences.
The government made the decision following a four-week consultation and said it believes extending licensing hours will offer multiple benefits to businesses.
For instance, it noted that the licensed premises will be able to stay open without paying the £21 fee for a Temporary Event Notice, which could collectively save them up to £500,000.
Furthermore, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said in its consultation response that extending licensing hours during the Royal Wedding could offer the pub sector a boost of up to £10 million in trade.
The government went on to note that while the Royal Wedding coincides with the FA Cup Final, there were no reports of increased football-related disorder following previous extensions, such as when the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations coincided with two Euro 2016 matches involving England and Wales.
Chief executive of the BBPA Brigid Simmons has welcomed the decision to extend licensing hours in the on-trade, saying it will “allow the nation to celebrate and raise a glass to Harry and Meghan in a responsible manner, whilst giving a timely boost to the great British beer and pub sector”.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd added that the Royal Wedding offers a chance for “communities across the country to join together and celebrate this momentous and happy occasion for our royal family and for our nation”.
For further information on any of the points raised in this article please contact Robert Botkai in our Commercial Real Estate and Licensing department.