Toggle menu

Leaflet distribution licence


We have powers to control the distribution of free printed matter within the city centre and university areas.

Free printed matter are leaflets, newspapers, flyers, business cards and stickers used to promote a product, venue or an event.

Anyone who wants to hand out these materials in the city centre and university areas have to apply for consent with us.

How to apply

To apply to distribute free printed material please complete the following online form at least 14 days before the start of distribution activity:

Apply for consent to distribute free printed material

You can also download and complete the leaflet distribution consent application form (PDF) [195KB] and return to us at:

Licensing Services, Environmental Health Department, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 2RL.

Before you apply, please ensure you have read and understand the guidance notes for leaflet distribution.

Guidance notes for leaflet distribution

How much is the licence?

The application fee varies according to the time and duration of the licence, please view and complete the fee calculator for leaflet distribution consent form (PDF) [32KB] to find out your exact fee. 

Please note: there is an additional charge of £6 for each distributor badge.

  • 1 - 5 points = £55
  • 6 - 10 points = £105
  • 11 - 15 points = £205
  • 16+ = £405

The litter problem

A significant amount of littering within Preston can be directly associated with the distribution of free printed matter.

Street litter has a harmful impact on the quality of the local environment and can reduce the feeling of community well being.

Littered streets can also heighten the fear of crime and attract further environmental crimes and anti-social behaviour.

Distributing leaflets

Anyone wishing to distribute free printed matter will need the consent of the council.

The consent will last for 12 months and will contain conditions which have been created to protect the environment from becoming spoilt by litter from leaflets etc.

Each distributor must wear a visible badge supplied by the council.

Designated area

It is a criminal offence to distribute free printed matter without the consent of the council in the area shown on the map at the bottom of this page.

A map showing the designated area (PDF) [107KB] can be viewed  and downloaded here.

A consent is not required if free printed matter is distributed in any streets outside this area in Preston.


A consent is not required if free printed matter is placed into a letterbox and organisations such as charities, political parties and religious groups are permitted to distribute free printed matter within the designated area without a consent.


Any person found to be distributing free printed matter without a consent or in breach of a condition of a consent may be committing an offence and could be liable, on conviction, of a fine up to a maximum of £2500.

Enforcement officers may offer any such person the opportunity to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice charge of £80.

Map address

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email