Worthing’s night-time economy ready to boom as an increase of people look to set up shop in Worthing

Night-time economy liscences issued by Simon Jones Councils' Licensing, Public Health & Regulation Team Leader with Cllr Sally Smith

A thriving mixed hospitality industry and night-time economy

Worthing’s night-time economy is set to receive a boost as more people than ever before are looking to set up shop in Worthing as a record number of licensing applications are received in the borough.

The licensing team at Worthing Borough Council are the busiest they have ever been, with more new and existing businesses seeking permission to provide entertainment, sell alcohol, food or refreshments and offer taxi and private hire services.

A thriving mixed hospitality industry and night-time economy encourages tourism, boosts local business and helps make the town a more vibrant place to live.

The role of the licensing team at the Council is to protect the public, manage the balance between what’s good for business and the community and to ensure that venues remain safe and manageable. The team works closely to deliver this with Sussex Police, the Councils’ environmental health services and other responsible authorities.

Licensing applications in 2019 vs 2022

In 2019, the last full year prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Council’s licensing unit processed 40 major licensing applications in Worthing. These are applications that require public notice and consultation, and a hearing if there are objections to a new bar, restaurant, takeaway, store or night club which could potentially bring disturbance to a neighbourhood.

In 2022, the team has processed 60 major applications to date and expects to receive more before the end of the year.

Council officers suspect that the increase in applications is not only because of a rollover from the pandemic, but also because more people are looking to change their line of work and lifestyle post the national lockdowns.

“An abundance of new businesses opening in Worthing”

The Licensing Committee’s new Chair, Cllr Sally Smith, leads the meetings in Worthing alongside fellow borough councillors and members of the council’s licensing and legal teams.

Cllr Smith said: “It’s fantastic to see that more people are looking to set up licensed businesses in the borough and contribute to the town’s growing night-time economy.

“Our role as the licensing committee is to ensure we’re balancing the requests for licences with the needs of the community and the neighbours surrounding the proposed site. I look forward to working with the committee to bring a greater and more diverse evening offering to Worthing.”

The committee is required to focus on the statutory requirements of the Licensing Act. These include the prevention of crime and disorder, ensuring public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and protecting children from potential harm.

Sharon Clarke, of the Worthing Town Centre Initiative, said: “It’s great to see an abundance of new businesses opening in Worthing recently, many adding to the lively night-time offer.

“With all the uncertainty in the economy currently it’s a scary time to be investing, so having so many entrepreneurs choosing Worthing is really positive for the town. The town has a great offer, both during the day and for a night out, and by supporting local businesses it will continue to develop.”


Contact your MP or Councillor

Read Sussex Local Online

Our Podcasts

West Sussex


East Sussex