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Safety at sports grounds

If you operate a sports ground/stadium or hold a special event within a sports ground, you may need a safety certificate to be issued by the Council.

A sports ground safety certificate sets the safe capacity of a sports ground or a spectator stand. It also sets out the terms and conditions that the certificate holder must follow.

There are two types of safety certificate:

You must have a General Safety Certificate if you operate a sports ground which has:

  • A capacity of 10,000 or more spectators (designated ground)
  • A capacity of 5,000 or more spectators for Premiership or Football League matches (designated ground)
  • A covered stand with a capacity of 500 or more spectators (regulated stand)

You must have a Special Safety Certificate to hold a one-off event or series of events at a sports ground if the events are not already included within a General Safety Certificate for a designated sports ground/stadium.

You must follow the conditions on the certificate. These could be things like keeping safety maintenance or attendance records. You must tell us before making any changes to the grounds or stands. You can apply to have your certificate amended, replaced or transferred to another person.

Safety in a sports ground is establishing a balance between good management and good design. The Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) website which publishes The Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (often known as the 'Green Guide') provides guidance on how to achieve this ensuring a safe environment for spectators.

Where there is a designated sports ground with a safety certificate a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) must be set up. This is a multi-agency group formed at local level to ensure that the sports ground remains compliant with the conditions of the safety certificate and with other relevant or international standards; typically consisting of representatives of the local authority, ground management, building control, police, fire, ambulance services and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA). Additionally, a SAG may also be set up for other sports grounds where there is an agreed need to do so.

Who to contact

To obtain a safety certificate or for more information contact us by email at .

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