Any premises at which relevant entertainment is provided before a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or the entertainer.

Relevant entertainment

Any live performance or any live display of nudity which is of such a nature that, ignoring financial gain, it must reasonably be assumed to be provided solely or principally for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience.

Home Office guidance states relevant entertainment would therefore apply to the following forms of entertainment:

  • lap dancing
  • pole dancing
  • table dancing
  • strip shows
  • peep shows
  • live sex shows.

This list is not exhaustive and the Licensing Authority will judge each case on its merits. Decisions will be based on the content of the entertainment provided and not the name given to it.


Premises, which fall under this exemption created for infrequent entertainment, do not require a sexual entertainment licence but will instead need an appropriate authorisation under the Licensing Act 2003.

  • There have not been more than 11 occasions on which relevant entertainment has been provided which fall (wholly or partly) with the period of 12 months ending with that time
  • no such occasions has lasted for more than 24 hours
  • no such occasion has begun within the period of one month beginning with the end of any previous occasion on which relevant entertainment has been so provided (whether or not that previous occasions falls within the 12-month period.

Operators are encouraged to maintain written records of any relevant entertainment that falls within the exemption. This will assist the Licensing Authority to prove or refute any allegation of unlicensed events and/or holding events in breach of the exemptions. 

Any records should contain information of the date, times of the event and those persons who have participated in the relevant entertainment, which includes performers, security, management and bar staff. If tickets are sold then details of the number of tickets sold at each event.

Application process

To assist applicant in the application process please read these documents carefully.


This authority is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you have provided for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.

Medway Council is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. We hold information for the purposes specified in our Data Protection Notification made to the Information Commissioner and may use this information for any of them. We may get information about you from others, or we may give information to them. If we do it we will only do so as the law permits, to check accuracy of information or prevent or detect crime. We may check information we receive about you with what is already in our records. This can include information provided by you as well as by others such as government departments and statutory agencies. We will not give information about you to anyone outside Medway Council unless the law permits us to do so.


You must give public notice of the application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper that is circulated in the local authority area no more than seven days after the date the application is made. 

You must display a notice of the application on or near the premises in a place where the public can conveniently read it. The notice should be displayed for a period of 21 days beginning with the date the application was made.

All notices should be in the form prescribed and identify the premises or, if the application relates to a vehicle, vessel or stall, specify where it will be used as a sex establishment.   


The Licensing Authority will not determine an application for the grant of a licence, unless the applicant allows an authorised officer a reasonable opportunity to enter the proposed Sex Entertainment Venue to make such examination and enquiries as may be necessary to determine the suitability of the applicant and the premises.

Determining application

A licence can be refused if either, at the time the application is determined the number of sex establishments or sex establishments of a particular kind, in the relevant locality is equal to or exceeds the number that the authority considers appropriate for that locality; or that a sex establishment would be inappropriate having regard to:

  • the character of the relevant locality
  • the use to which any premises in the vicinity are put, or
  • the layout, character or condition of the premises. 

In determining any application the Licensing Authority is aware of its ability to impose restrictions on the licence or to place conditions on the licence. Where such restrictions or conditions are applied, the Licensing Authority will ensure that they are necessary, reasonable and proportionate to achieve the objectives of any primary legislation, in particular the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and any subsequent, relevant legislation.

For more information contact the Licensing Team by emailing

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR