Sunday trading registrations

Following the introduction of the Sunday Trading Act in 1994 there have been no restrictions on shopping hours - apart from Sundays. All shops are now able to open without restrictions between Monday and Saturday. 

Restrictions on opening times on Sundays are now confined to large shops (defined under the Act as those having an internal sales area of over 280sq.m). 

The critical consideration is the floor area definition, which is clarified as meaning the part of the shop within a building that is used for display of goods and customer services.

Large shops must:

  • be registered with us for trading on a Sunday;
  • specify the six hours of trading on a Sunday which must be between 10am to 6pm;
  • provide a sign visible both internally and externally specifying the times of trading.

They are required to remain closed on Easter Sunday (and on Christmas Day when it falls on a Sunday). 

We keep a public register of the large shops operating in our area, which can be viewed at the Civic Offices on request.

Small shops are not covered by these restrictions and can open freely. The Sunday Trading Act 1994 also includes specific measures to protect the rights of shop workers who do not wish to work on Sunday.

Apart from the restrictions mentioned above, it is left to individual owners to determine their opening hours in the light of customer demand.

In order to apply for a Sunday trading registration, you need to complete the registration form (pdf, 81kb) and provide details of the shop and your intended opening hours on a Sunday.

Once your application has been accepted we will add you to the register.

If your shop is smaller than 280sq.m then an application is not required


The following shops (both large and small) are exempt from requiring register with us: 

  • Public houses
  • Off licenses and take away food shops
  • Airport shops
  • Chemist/pharmacies
  • Shops in railway station
  • Exhibit stands
  • Farm shops 
  • Service areas and petrol filling stations
  • Motor accessory shops
Once your application has been accepted we will add you to the register

If you are observing the Jewish Sabbath, you will need to tell us of your beliefs and your intention of closing on Saturday. We will need to register you before you can open on a Sunday. In the case of a partnership or company, the majority of the partners must be of a religion that observes the Jewish Sabbath.