Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Our Services A - Z :

You are here: Home Page > Environment and Planning > Env Health & Trading Standards > Sports Grounds-Regulated Stand

Sports Grounds - Regulated Stands Licence

Environmental Health & Trading Standards are responsible for enforcing legislation on safety at sports grounds under specific legislation, as well other legislation which covers general health and safety obligations.


Large buildings (sports stadia) used for major sports events which have a capacity of 10,000 or more spectators require a safety certificate under the Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975.  Some sports grounds used for league football with a capacity of 5,000 or more may also require a safety certificate.   There are currently no designated sports stadia or sports grounds within the Bedford Borough area.


Smaller sports grounds with covered stands with a capacity of 500 or more spectators require a safety certificate under the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987.


A safety certificate may be either:

  • A general safety certificate which covers the use of the stand for viewing an activity, or a number of activities, specified in the certificate for an indefinite period which starts on a specified date, or,
  • A special safety certificate which covers the use of the stand for viewing a certain specified activity or activities on a certain specified occasion or occasions.


There is currently one regulated stand within the Bedford Borough area – the Eagle Stand at the Bedford Blues, Goldington Road.


Application process

If you are proposing to operate a sports ground or regulated stand, please contact us by e-mailing ehadmin@bedford.gov.uk at the earliest opportunity.


To apply for a general safety certificate you must be the person responsible for the management of the ground.


To apply for a special safety certificate you must be the person responsible for the activity to be viewed from the stand on that occasion.


There is no application form, applicants must provide requested information and plans to the local authority within the time period specified.  If it is not provided within the permitted time, the application will deemed to be withdrawn.  There is currently no cost associated with the application process.


Application Evaluation

The application will be evaluated in line with recommendations made in the ‘Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds’ published by The Stationary Office The guide lays down detailed advice on matters such as:

  • Safe Capacities;
  • Management responsibilities;
  • Circulation of spectators
  • Barrier design and testing;
  • Spectator accommodation;
  • Fire safety;
  • Communications;
  • Electrical and mechanical services;
  • First aid and medical provision;
  • Media Provision.


Where an application has been made, an Event Advisory Group (EAG) made up of representatives from the Council, Police, Fire service and Ambulance service will meet to draw up the safety certificate.


After the issue of a General Safety Certificate, periodic inspections will be made on match days or other sporting occasions to ensure that the terms and conditions of the licence are being observed.  An annual inspection (and where necessary follow up inspections) is also made of the ground.


Appeals process

Any applicant who is refused a general safety certificate because they are not considered to be an eligible person can appeal to the Magistrates Court.


Any applicant who is refused a special safety certificate may also appeal to the Magistrates Court against a refusal based on the grounds other than a decision that they are not an eligible person.


Any licence holder who wishes to appeal 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, may appeal to the Magistrates Court.


Any person who is served with a notice determining that a sports stand is a regulated sports stand may appeal to the Magistrates Court.


Quick Links:

Department for Culture Media and Sport

Football Licensing Authority

Don't Miss


Here you will find information on environmental and planning issues. This section provides a wealth of information including details on how to make or enquire about a planning application, rubbish, waste and recycling information.


Stay Connected
Sign up for email alerts!