The Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 places on Local Authority a responsibility for issuing and enforcing safety certificates in respect of sports grounds designated by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
A Designated Ground is a sports ground with a capacity of more than 10,000 spectators or in the case of Premiership or Football League a ground accomodating more than 5,000 spectators.
In accordance with the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sports Act 1987 Local Authority should also certify Regulated Stands at non-designated sports grounds.
A Regulated Stand is any covered stand that holds 500 or more spectators either seated or standing.
There are two forms of safety certificates:
General Safety Certificate issued for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity, or activities, for an indefinite period
Special Safety Certificate issued for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity or activities on a specified occasion or occasions
Sports Grounds that have been issued with the General Safety Certificate and intend to use their ground for any other, non-sport activities i.e. firework dispalys, music concerts, stunt shows, etc should ensure that these activities are included within the terms of their certificate. Otherwise it will be necessary to apply in writting for a Special Safety Certificate at least 28 days before the planned event.
To apply for a General Safety Certificate or a Special Safety Certificate please contact Safety of Sports Grounds Team at Staffordshire County Council using details provided below.
To be eligible for a safety certificate, you must comply with the terms and conditions of a certificate.
A summary of the regulation relating to this licence can be found here:
Application Evaluation Process
Applicants must provide requested information and plans to the Safety of Sports Grounds Team 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fails to provide the requested information within the specified time the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.
Safety of Sports Grounds Team will consider if the applicant is in a position to comply with the terms and conditions of the certificate. The team will then send a copy of an application for a safety certificate to the Chief Police Officer of the area, the Fire and Rescue authority and the Building authority. Each of these bodies must be consulted about the terms and conditions to be included in the certificate.
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
No. 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 us using the contact details below.
The process of granting a safety certificate is complex and before any certificate may is issued a consultation process may need to be undertaken.
To receive an application form and for all information on application process please contact the Safety of Sports Grounds Team on the details below.
Please note that an online application facility will be available in the nearest future...
Your Right of Appeal
A sports ground operator may appeal against a decision through the Magistrates Court and the Court may give such directions as it thinks proper.
Licence Holder Redress
Please contact the Staffordshire County Council in the first instance, using the details below.
Making a complaint
If you are concerned about the progress of your application or the quality of the service we provide, please contact us on the details below and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have.
Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA) (www.sportsandplay.com).
For information, advice and guidance regarding spectator safety at sports grounds please contact: Safety of Sports Grounds, Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards, 20 Sidmouth Avenue, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 0QN.