There are two key pieces of legislation, namely, the Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975 and the Fire Safety and Safety at Places of Sport Act 1987.
There are two types of safety certificate that are issued under the following criteria:
General Safety Certificate
Where a sports ground has a capacity for more than 10,000 spectators or 5,000 in the case of association football grounds used in the Premier League or the Football League, the sports ground may be classed as a ‘designated sports ground’ and a safety certificate will be required under the Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975.
Where there is a covered stand at a sports ground with a capacity for 500 or more spectators, this may be classed as a ‘regulated stand’ and again a safety certificate will be required under the Fire Safety and Safety at Places of Sport Act 1987.
Special Safety Certificate
In the case that a safety certificate already exists for a sports ground, but the event that you wish to hold is not one stated within the permitted activities specified on the certificate, you may need to apply for a special safety certificate in order to gain the necessary authority to hold that event.
A general safety certificate must be already in force for a designated ground or regulated stand before a special safety certificate can be issued.
Safety certificates are obtained from your local authority. You must comply with any terms or conditions attached to a certificate.
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.
Application evaluation process
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fails to provide the requested information within the specified time the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.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.
If an application is made to transfer a certificate, the local authority must determine if the person to whom the certificate is to be transferred would qualify for the issue of a certificate. The applicant may be the current holder of the certificate or the person to whom the certificate is to be transferred.
The local authority must send a copy of a transfer application 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. They shall consult them about any proposed amendment, replacement or transfer.
For costing information, please contact the Fire Protection Group Commander on 01926 423231.