Sports grounds safety certificate

If you operate a sports ground in England, Scotland or Wales that holds more than 10,000 spectators or a covered enclosure that accommodates 500 or more spectators, you will require to hold a safety 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.

A safety certificate is issued by the local authority for the area in which the sports ground is situated.

A safety certificate may be:

  • a general safety certificate issued for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity, or activities, during an indefinite period
  • a special safety certificate for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity or activities on a specified occasion or occasions
  • a safety certificate for a stand at a sports ground which provides covered accommodation for 500 or more spectators

A safety certificate must contain terms and conditions that the local authority considers are either necessary or expedient to secure reasonable safety at sports grounds. The holder of a certificate must comply with all the terms and conditions attached to the certificate. Failure to comply with the certificate's terms and conditions is an offence.

A safety certificate must also have attached to it a plan of the sports ground to which the certificate relates.

Application fees

Type of application Price
Safety certificate for regulated stand 500 – 2000 capacity £385.00
Safety certificate for regulated stand 2000 - 10000 capacity £515.00
Amendment of safety certificate £192.00
Replacement of safety certificate £53.00
Transfer of safety certificate £101.00
Cancellation of safety certificate £53.00
Grant of special certificate £192.00

How to apply

You can apply for sports grounds safety certificate in paper or online.

As part of your submission you must also provide a scaled plan of the sports ground.

Apply in paper

To apply in paper fill in our sports grounds safety certificate application form (pdf 128KB). Please send completed submissions to Health and Safety team.

Apply online

You can also apply online by filling in a form on GOV.UK website:

Application process

Once the application form together with all supporting documentation has been submitted, we will acknowledge receipt within 2 weeks and you should have a response from us within 3 months, being the target completion period.

If you have not heard from us within the target completion period, please contact us.

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 constable and the building authority for the area in which the sports ground is situated. Each of these bodies must be consulted about the terms and conditions to be included in a certificate. The fire and rescue service are also notified of the application and consulted on the certificate's terms and conditions.

A certificate may be transferred from its holder to another person. Prior to transfer, the local authority must determine if the person to whom the certificate is to be transferred, if they made an application, 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 constable for the area, the fire and rescue authority if they are not that authority and the building authority. They shall consult them about any proposed amendment, replacement or transfer.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent will not apply for this licence. This means that you cannot assume that the application has been approved if you do not hear from us by the end of the target completion period. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.

Appeals and consumer complaints

 If you don't agree with the decision we have made in regards to safety grounds certificate you can appeal to the local Sheriff Court. Who can appeal:

  • Any applicant who is refused a safety certificate because they are not considered to be an eligible person
  • An applicant who is refused a special safety certificate based on 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
  • Any person concerned in ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the safety certificate against any condition attached to, or the omission of anything from, a safety certificate, or against the refusal to amend or replace a safety certificate

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK please contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Contact details

Team Manager - Health and Safety 
Infrastructure Service
Towie House 
Turriff
AB53 4AY
Telephone: 03456 081207
Email: environmental@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

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