Councillors will be asked if they wish to introduce a general extension of licensing hours for pubs and venues during the Tall Ships Races in July.
The topic will come up for discussion at a meeting of the Shetland licensing board on Monday.
The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 permits a board, if they consider it appropriate to do so in connection with a special event of “local or national significance”, to make a determination on extending licensing hours.
This is usually done locally for the Christmas and New Year period, and also the Up Helly Aa season.
The Tall Ships Races – which came to Shetland previously in 1999 and 2011 – will visit Lerwick over four days in late July, and there will also be ‘guest harbour’ events in Baltasound, Cullivoe and Scalloway.
The main Tall Ships event will see a packed music line-up including visiting acts, as well as the spectacle of the ships themselves and a programme of family entertainment.
It is hoped the event will attract visitors to Shetland, while crew members of the various tall ships will also spend time in the isles.
The board will be asked to determine whether the Tall Ships is of local or national significance, and if so, if a general licensing extension is appropriate.
If the board agrees an extension should be introduced, there are a number of possible variables such as the location of the extension and the hours involved.
The board has so far received only one application from premises in Lerwick for an extension of licensed hours in connection with the Tall Ships Races.
That is from Mareel to open to 3am during the Lerwick event, with the application also on Monday’s agenda. The venue is due to host late night DJ gigs during the Tall Ships.
But there have also been enquiries on behalf of premises both in Lerwick and further afield about a general extension.
A report to councillors states: “At the time of the 1999 visit, regulation was under the previous licensing regime.
“As regards the 2011 visit, whilst it cannot be stated with certainty what approach the board then took, it can be stated that a number of individual applications for later-than-normal closing hours were refused by the board.”
The recommendation, however, from officers is that the event merits an extension of licensed hours.
The suggestion is for the licensing hours of all on-sales premises in Baltasound, Cullivoe and Scalloway be extended between July 20 and 26 from 1am to 3am daily.
For Lerwick the recommendation is for the same hours but between July 26 and 30.
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