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
If you are proposing to operate a sports ground or regulated
stand, please contact us (link to contact details) at the earliest
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
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the application will deemed to be withdrawn.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.
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;
- 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, Ambulance service will meet to draw up the safety
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.
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
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
Department for Culture Media and
Football Licensing Authority