Birmingham City Council

Distribute free printed materials

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Overview

The free printed matter consent schemes try to control the litter problem created by the distribution and subsequent discarding of flyers, free newspapers, documents, cards, leaflets, pamphlets, stickers and other literature.

The City Council currently operates three free printed matter consent areas (please see below) If you want to distribute free literature in these areas, you should apply for a consent using the Apply for a consent button above. If you are considering running an event (e.g. setting up stalls, use of vehicles, actors, costumes, video screens etc.) or wish to distribute more than just leaflets ie. free samples or products in the City Centre then you must also seek permission from Birmingham City Centre Management who can be contacted by emailing citycentre@birmingham.gov.uk. This is in addition to applying for a consent using the button above.

The three free printed matter areas, for which you require to apply for consent are:

  • City centre retail area
  • Digbeth
  • Hurst Street

A map showing the free printed matter consent areas is attached below.

The schemes do not apply to the distribution of free printed matter by or on behalf of a charity within the meaning of the Charities Act 1993 or where the distribution is for political purposes or for the purpose of a religion or belief.

PLEASE NOTE: As of Monday 9th May 2011 the Broad Street free printed matter consent scheme (made under the Birmingham City Council Control of the Distribution of Free Printed Matter (Broad Street) Order 2009) has been revoked. Anyone wishing to distribute free printed material within the former Broad Street free printed matter consent area may now do so without prior consent from the City Council. A copy of the notice publicising the revocation of the scheme and list of affected streets can be found in the attachments below. For further information please contact 0121 675 2754 or go to our Contact Us page and simply complete the contact form to tell us what you need to know.

If you wish to pay for this service by card, please have your details to hand. However should you be unable to pay by credit or debit card please refer to the frequently asked questions section for details of other methods of payment. We accept the following:


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Essential Information
  • In order to obtain consent to distribute free printed matter, individuals or companies are required to:

    • Complete an application form (press the 'Apply for a consent' button above)
    • Pay a fee of £260 per distributor
    • Abide by a number of conditions (see attachments)

    The consent will last for a period of 12 months from the date of issue. For more information please see the FAQ secton of this page.

    Please Note: If you are considering running an event within the city centre for instance; setting up a stall, use of vehicles, actors, costumes etc or are looking to distribute free samples or products then you must seek permission from City Centre Management (e-mail: citycentre@birmingham.gov.uk). This will be in addition to any application you make to distribute free printed matter.

  • If you would like to make a request for a refund, please use our service specific enquiry page. All requests are dealt with on an individual basis, and will be investigated by one of our officers. We may have to contact you to ask for further information about your request before a decision is made.

Frequently Asked Questions
    • The following exemptions apply:

      • material distributed on behalf of a charity (as defined in the charities Act 1993)
      • materials distributed for political purposes
      • material distributed for religious purposes
    • Currently the city centre retail areas, Digbeth and Hurst Street are declared a free distribution consent area. For more information including maps of the declared free distribution areas please see attachments. There are no restrictions in any other parts of the city.

    • A replacement charge of £50 is made for consent cards which are lost or stolen. If replacement badges are lost or stolen these will not be replaced, and a new application will be required together with payment of the full consent fee.

    • Consents can be used by more than one person provided that they are not working at the same time. In this case applications can either be in a company name or in the name of an individual. You must ensure that you have enough consents to cover the number of people that you have distributing free literature at any one time. For example an organisation may have 20 people available to distribute free literature but may only choose to use a maximum of 10 of those distributors at any one time. In this case the fee would be 10 x annual fee.


    • Applications for consent takes up to 7 days to process.

    • Payment is taken via debit or credit card as part of your on-line payment. If you do not have access to a credit or debit card you can apply for consent using our paper based method. Should you wish to use this option please download an application form which can be found below. Once it has been completed please return with a cheque for the required amount to PO Box 16350, Birmingham, B2 2UD (shown on the form). Should you wish to make payment by cash please complete a service specific enquiry and we will contact you to advise you on how to proceed with your application.

    • Consents last for a period of 12 months from the date of issue.

    • The consent card is made up of a credit card sized plastic card which contains the consent holders name (this can either be a company name or an individuals name), a consent number, an ID number and an expiry date. Consent cards must be available for inspection at all times when literature is being distributed and are supplied with a neck cord holder.

    • Once you have received consent you can distribute free literature in any of the three designated free literature consent areas. These are located in the city centre retail area, the Digbeth area and the Hurst Street area of the city. A map showing all three areas is attached at the bottom of the page and the list of streets is included in each of the three specific area schemes.

    • There is an annual fee per distributor. A distributor is the person who actually gives out the free literature. Consents can either be held in an individual's name or in the name of a company. Consents can be used by more than one person provided that they are not working at the same time. You must ensure that you have enough consents to cover the number of people that you have distributing free literature at any one time. For example an organisation may have 20 people available to distribute free literature but may only choose to use a maximum of 10 of those distributors at any one time. In this case the fee would be 10 x annual fee.



    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.


      Service Specific Enquiry