When you want to sell alcohol from a property to the general public, you need to have a premises licence from the local authority to be able to do so. If you don’t have a premises licence, you can be prosecuted and shut down by the local authority and / or the police.
Your premises licence will cover you selling alcohol from a specified area during specified times. If you are holding a special event (e.g. a wedding or horse racing meeting) which means that you want to sell alcohol from a different area or for longer hours, you can either (i) apply to amend your licence permanently or (ii) apply for a temporary event notice (TEN).
If you apply to amend your licence permanently, you run the risk that the application can be refused and the process will take a minimum of 4 weeks. As an alternative temporary measure a venue can apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) which allows alcohol to be sold from a specified area for up to 7 days. A venue can apply for up to twelve TENs per year and need only give 10 working days notice to the local authority, police and environmental health. The TEN cannot be refused unless one of the authorities believes that it would undermine any of the licensing objectives.
If a venue is considering holding a temporary one off event or events (e.g the erection of a temporary marquee at horse racing stadiums), it is quicker, simpler and easier to apply for a TEN than to try and apply for a variation of a premises licence.