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What is free printed matter?

'Free printed matter' includes amongst other things:

  • Newspapers
  • Leaflets
  • Pamphlets
  • Cards
  • Stickers
  • Containers and any similar items
  • Food
  • Drinks.
  • Printed matter is free if it is distributed without charge to the persons who receive it.

Do I Need Permission / Permit

You do not need permission if the printed material is being distributed:

  • In letterboxes
  • Inside a building, bus or taxi
  • On behalf of a charity
  • For political or religious purposes or other beliefs

When You Need a Permit / Permission

There are five areas in the Nottingham City Boundary that require you to be issued with a permit, the maps for these areas are listed below.

Old Market Square - you cannot distribute leaflets in the Old Market Square unless you are doing so as part of a promotional booking. If you would like to enquire into hiring a city centre promotional space please email

Do I need still need permission outside these areas. 

If you intend to leaflet outside the areas mentioned in the maps above please contact Commercial and Operations Licensing to check if authorisation is required.

Fines and penalties

You may get a fixed penalty up to £150, or a fine up to £2,500 and a criminal record, if you distribute printed material without a licence or break the rules of your licence. Your licence may be cancelled.

Apply for a permit

  • Click on Apply button below and download the application form in Word
  • Once you have completed the above application please send to Licensing Section by email or post.
  • You will need to include payment.


  • £127 & £273 for each permit per year

Please allow 7 days for issuing the Free Printed Material Permit. 

  • Please note that permits are valid for a 1 year period, this is then subject to a renewal.

Apply for a Free Printed Material Permit

Contact us

Communities, Environment & Resident Services:
Humber Building 
Eastcroft Depot 
London Road 

Tel: 01159156571

Contact Us Online
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