Fireworks Dispensation

Why do I need a dispensation?

Under the Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations 2004 the use of an adult firework between the hours of 11pm and 7am is prohibited except on permitted fireworks nights around 5 November, New Year, Chinese New Year and Diwali. Under the Fireworks Act 2003 any contravention of this prohibition is an offence, punishable on summary conviction to imprisonment or a fine or both. The Comhairle may grand dispensation from the above prohibition. The effect of dispensation is that it exempts the holder from the above prohibition and so permits them to use fireworks between the hours of 11pm and 7am.

Who can apply for dispensation?

By law dispensation can only be given to any person who is:

  • Employed by, or in a business as, a professional organiser or operator of firework displays;
  • Employed by a department of the Government of the United Kingdom or by the Scottish Executive or an agency of the Scottish Executive; or
  • Employed by an establishment of the naval, military or air forces of the Crown;

To enable that person to use fireworks

  • For the purposes of putting on a firework display for their employer or in the course of their business (as the case may be); or
  • At a national public celebration or a national commemorative event.

How to apply for dispensation?

By law applications for dispensation must be submitted to the Comhairle no later than 6 weeks prior to the proposed fireworks display, national public celebration or national commemorative event. Along with the application you must submit a copy of your passport or driving licence and proof of current address i.e recent utility bill. If the applicant is a business the application must be submitted by the day-to-day manager along with passport or driving licence.

A notice (advert) of the event must be placed in a local circulating newspaper no later than 7 days prior to the event. The notice should include the name and address of the applicant, a description of the proposed firework display, the proposed location and date and proposed hours during which fireworks shall be used at the event. A copy of the notice should be sent to Consumer and Environmental Services, CNES, Sandwick Road, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2BW or e-mail to

There is no fee payable in terms of this application.

Who will be consulted?

All applications will be submitted to the Police and Fire Brigade for comment.

What if application is refused?

If you are aggrieved by a refusal to grant the application please feel free to contact us.
Please note however there is no right of appeal should your application be refused.


If you require further information please Contact Us.