You do not need a licence to give away alcoholic drinks to your guests, free of charge. However, if any money changes hands for alcoholic drinks on the premises, a Temporary Event Notice under the Licencing Act 2003 must be issued. This includes situations where guests pay for tickets to an event and alcohol is included in the price. The museum does not permit the illegal sale of alcohol on the premises and a copy of the notice must be provided to the museum in advance.
A cash bar can be provided by an external bar service or a local pub. It is also usually acceptable for your caterer to run a cash bar.
The museum never allows the sale of alcohol to take place illegally, therefore if money is to change hands for alcoholic drinks, the legal process must be followed.
A Temporary Event Notice has to be issued to the London Borough of Islington and the Metropolitan Police. It is a condition of hire of the museum that the bar will close at least 15 minutes before the end time of the event and that the museum is sent a copy of the notice and the acknowledgement. Customers must obtain our agreement before they either arrange for a Temporary Event Notice to be issued by anyone at all for an event at the museum. The issue of the Temporary Event Notice will normally be the only procedure necessary but it is possible for the police to object and for a counter-notice to be served on the person who issued the notice. A fee of £21 is payable to the local authority. The Temporary Event Notice has to reach the local authority at least 10 working days before the event. However the Council advises that at least four weeks notice should be given if possible. Please note that:
If the event is open to the public, for example a charity fund-raising event, other aspects of the event may be "regulated entertainment" such as for example music and dancing. The same Temporary Event Notice can cover both sale of alcohol and entertainment.