‘Licensing laws must be modernised’

Roger Pollen.
Roger Pollen.
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The Federation of Small Businesses has called on the Department for Communities to ensure Northern Ireland’s licensing laws are modernised.

FSB NI’s head of external affairs, Roger Pollen said: “Northern Ireland has been punching well above its weight in attracting tourists and developing the tourism offering.

“The whole population has been able to share in the pride of attracting people from across the world to come and see what we have to offer – whether attractions such as Titanic Belfast, the Game of Thrones’ legacy, and the natural and built environment, or the event-based programme such as the MTV Awards, the Giro D’Italia, or The Open.

“The Executive has played its part in attracting visitors, and the sector has responded by developing the facilities and services for visitors and the domestic market alike.

“The licensing system in unnecessarily complex; we need to see it simplified, but we also need to see it responding more flexibly to our evolving small business economy.

“For example, we are calling for a new licence to allow those small businesses that produce beer, cider and spirits to sell their product to visitors of their breweries and distilleries. We are urging the Department to map out a modern and responsive licensing regime for the politicians to take forward early in the life of a new Executive.”