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You will need a street collections licence if you want to sell items or collect money in any pubic area including streets. You will need a house-to-house collections licence if you want to collect money or goods from people's homes that you intend to sell later for charitable purposes.

You don't need a street collection licence if you're selling or collecting as part of a business.

The licence is valid for one year, but you must let us know when you are planning to collect money when you apply.

Collectors cannot receive payment. Collection boxes must be sealed and only opened and counted by nominated persons.

  • Charitable collection means an appeal to the public, made by means of visits from house to house, to give, whether for consideration or not, money or other property for a charitable purpose.
  • Promoter means a person who causes others to act as collectors for the purposes of the collection.

Collection areas

Within Bury Town Centre, market days of Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday are the prime days when charities and organisations wish to carry out collections or sales. Applications for these days are considered in January and June by Bury Licensing Services. A licence is then granted for the following six month period, you must only collect on the given dates. 

You must only collect in the area on the given date and between the times shown on the licence. If the collection area states 'Bury Town Centre', this excludes the Millgate Shopping Centre and the New Rock Development. You must seek permission from these developments if you wish to collect in this area once you have a street collection licence issued by us;

Apply for a collection licence

You will need to provide the following evidence as part of your online application:

  • details of any contracts with any charity which is to benefit from the collection
  • bank account number into which the collection will be paid and name of bank
  • audited accounts for the last financial year or link to website showing accounts
  • literature about organisation(s) who will benefit or link to website
  • written permission to collect on the charity's behalf.

There is no chargeable fee to apply for a street or house to house collection licence.

We aim to process your application within 28 days of receipt. We will contact you to advise if your street or house to house collection licence has been granted.

If you are unsuccessful, we will tell you why and how to request a review if the approval has been refused.

Tacit consent

This means you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us at the end of 28 days.

After the collection has taken place

After the collection has taken place, you will need to complete a collection returns form. This must be completed within one month of the collection and must be completed by the person who was granted the licence.

A collection return requires you to give details of the total amount collected and the amount used for expenses. It is important that money is not obtained falsely and reaches the organisations the donator intended it to reach.

We hold a record of all licences issued and the amount of money collected.

Collection licence conditions

When you receive the licence, we will give you a list of conditions explaining how to carry out the collection. The conditions will include details on how to obtain a collection identity badge from The Stationery Office (TSO) and it must be worn by all collectors involved in the collection. Collectors must also:

Collection licence fines and penalties

If you don't get a licence before starting collections, you could face up to 6 months in prison, a fine of up to £1,000 or a £200 fine if you or anyone collecting on your behalf doesn't give a police officer their name, address and signature when asked to.