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Sex shops - shops that sell a significant degree of goods of an adult or sexual nature (such as sex toys, books or DVDs), and sex cinemas - where explicit films are shown to members of the public, require a licence from the council under the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982.

Blackpool Council’s policy is to limit the numbers of sex shops to 2. Such venues are only permitted in the Bloomfield, Claremont and Talbot wards.

The policy determines that the appropriate number of sex cinemas shall be nil.

Apply for a sex shop licence

Download and complete the application form [PDF 125KB] and return with the fee of £2,510 for a new application or £1,970 for a renewal.

Alternatively you can apply online for a new/renewal or to transfer/make a change to your licence.


  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • Must have been resident in the UK at least six months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in the UK
  • Must not have been refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises in question within the last 12 months unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal
  • Must disclose all convictions (spent convictions should not be included)
  • Must advertise the application on site for 28 days and in the local newspaper within 7 days of the application being submitted. A template for the advert is on the back page of the application form

Any person objecting to an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence may give written notice of their objection to Blackpool Council, stating the grounds of the objection, within 28 days of the date of the application.

Applications are referred to the council’s public protection committee for grant or refusal, at which the applicant may attend in person if desired.

Once your application has been granted we aim to issue your licence within 10 working days.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent does not apply.  It is in the public interest that Blackpool Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Failed application redress/Licence holder redress

Please contact Blackpool Council in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence, or refused the renewal of a licence, may, within 21 days of being notified of the refusal, appeal to the local magistrates' court.

However, the right to appeal does not apply where the licence was refused on the grounds that:

  • The number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate
  • The grant of the licence would be inappropriate considering the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area, or the premises themselves

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local magistrates' court.


Consumer complaint: We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Consumer Service can give you advice. From outside the UK contact the European Consumer Centre for Services.

Other redress: Complaints about the operation of the premises should be directed to Blackpool Council licensing service


Licensing service

Municipal buildings, Corporation Street, Blackpool, FY1 1NF
Telephone 01253 478572

The licensing service is available to contact by telephone between 10.00am and 3.00pm Monday to Friday or visit in person by appointment only at the licensing desk at Blackpool Council's Customer First Centre on Corporation Street .