Sports grounds safety certification

If you operate a sports ground in England, Scotland or Wales that holds more than 10,000 spectators, or has a stand that can accommodate more than 500 spectators you will be required to hold a safety certificate. A safety certificate may be either:

  • A general safety certificate issued for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity, or activities, during an indefinite period
  • A special safety certificate for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity or activities on a specified occasion or occasions

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a safety certificate, you must be likely to be in a position to prevent contravention of the terms and conditions of a certificate.

Apply for a certificate

Applicants must provide requested information and plans to the local authority within the time specified. If the applicant fails to provide the requested information within the specified time the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

A local authority will consider if the applicant is in a position to prevent any breach of the terms and conditions of a certificate.

The local authority must send a copy of an application for a safety certificate to the chief police officer of the area, the fire and rescue authority if they are not that authority and the building authority if they are not that authority in England and Wales. Each of these bodies must be consulted about the terms and conditions to be included in a certificate.

Tacit consent will not apply. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service.

Failed application and other redress

Please contact the Local Authority in the first instance. Any applicant who is refused a safety certificate because they are not considered to be an eligible person can appeal to the West Hampshire Magistrates' Court. An applicant who is refused a special safety certificate may also appeal to the Magistrates' Court against a refusal of an application based on grounds other than a decision that they are not an eligible person.

Any person concerned in ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the safety certificate may appeal to the Magistrates' Court against any condition attached to, or the omission of anything from, a safety certificate, or against the refusal to amend or replace a safety certificate. Any licence holder may appeal to the Magistrates' Court against a condition attached to, or the omission of anything from, their safety certificate, or against the refusal to amend or replace a safety certificate. Appeal to the Crown Court is possible against an order of the Magistrates' Court.

Consumer complaint 

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Rights will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.