Published on 3rd August 2020

An empty pole on a stage in a club

A revised Sexual Entertainment Venue (SEV) licensing policy for Cheltenham has just been approved by full council.

There are no continuously licensed sexual entertainment venues in Cheltenham, however a number of premises have licenses that coincide with large horse racing events in the town.    

The SEV policy underwent a comprehensive review which included taking evidence from the police, performers, operators, faith groups, other objectors and councillors.

Changes include a move to Challenge 25 and a requirement for materials about coercive control and modern slavery to be made available in the performers' changing area.

Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, said: “I am pleased that we’ve been able to carry out this review and introduce some positive changes. Our revised policy offers the best protection possible to performers, customers, and the public.

“The proposal to introduce a nil limit for the whole of Cheltenham was not approved as sexual entertainment would still occur under the exemption, and this would make it more difficult for the council and police to regulate.”

Cllr David Willingham, chair of licensing committee, said: “I have a huge amount of sympathy for those who oppose this activity. However, this was a thorough review and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that we’re following best practice and giving duty of care in this field.

“These revisions improve our policy, and show our town has a robust approach to regulation with a focus on welfare and safety.”


Contact: For media enquiries, contact communications, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]


Consultation on the revised SEV policy was undertaken between 1 November 2019 and 6 January 2020 and received three responses which can be seen in the meeting appendices. For further details regarding the council’s adoption of the new policy and additional documents visit: