Sports grounds

If you have a sports ground that holds more than 10,000 spectators, or a football stadium that holds more than 5,000, you may need a safety certificate. You will also need a certificate for any covered stand which holds 500 or more. 

A general safety certificate can cover a ground or stand for specific activities indefinitely. A special safety certificate covers a ground or stand for activities on specific occasions. One certificate can cover more than one stand.

We enforce the recommendations in the guide to safety at sports grounds and undertake regular inspections on match days to ensure the conditions of your certificate are being met.

For public safety, we co-ordinate with the Safety Advisory Group, which includes emergency services. We also provide advice on:

  • access for the disabled 
  • crowd control
  • means of escape
  • structural stability

To be eligible for a certificate you must be:

  • in a position to prevent violation of the certificate terms and conditions
  • the person responsible for managing the ground
  • the person responsible for the activity to be viewed from the stand on the occasion

It will take 30 days to process your application. We will request information and plans, which you should provide within the specified time, or your application will be withdrawn.

It is a criminal offence to carry out unlicensed activities and, if convicted, you could be given a fine and a two-year prison term.

For more information visit:

  • our fees page for the relevant fee
  • our online Licence Register where all applications and licences are recorded 
  • GOV.UK for the rules about sports grounds

Email the team to apply for a safety certificate.

If your application is unsuccessful, you should contact your local authority.