Sports ground safety certificate

About sports ground safety certificates

Summary of requirements

Sports stadia with a spectator capacity of more than 10,000 people (5,000 in the case of Premiership or Football League grounds) are designated by the government and must be certified under the Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975. A general safety certificate will cover use of the stadium for certain specified activities, use for other spectator related purposes will require the issue of a special safety certificate.

Any non-designated sports ground which contains a covered stand with a spectator capacity of more than 500 is deemed a regulated stand and must be certified under the Fire Safety and Safety at Places of Sport Act 1987

There are no designated sports stadia in the borough of Wandsworth.

Further information about sports ground safety (Sports Ground Safety Authority).

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a safety certificate, you must comply with the terms and conditions. 

Apply for a certificate

To apply, email the licensing team: licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk

Apply to change a sports ground safety certificate

To apply, complete an application form.

Application evaluation process 

Requirements in relation to sports grounds are far reaching and will include but will not be restricted to the following:

  • Structural integrity of the stand/stadia.  
  • Provisions for means of escape.  
  • Adequate fire precautions.  
  • Emergency services co-ordination. 
  • Provision of suitable management strategies (i.e. stewarding, crowd control, match day safety arrangements, evacuation procedures, contingency plans, etc.)

The certificate holder is under a legal obligation to comply with all terms and conditions contained within the certificate. Certificates are issued to last indefinitely or alternatively may contain an expiry date. Under the legislation we have ongoing control and powers of enforcement so as to ensure reasonable standards of safety are maintained. 

The legislation allows for the issue of prohibition notices to prevent spectator access to any sports ground or part when it is considered a safety risk is immediate.

Will tacit consent apply? 

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, you can contact the Safety and Licensing Team.

What to do if your application is refused

If you are aggrieved by a decision regarding a determination under this legislation you may appeal to the: 

South Western Magistrates' Court
176a Lavender Hill
London 
SW11 1JU 

What to do if you are unhappy with an imposed condition 

If you wish to appeal against a condition attached to, or the omission of anything from, your safety certificate, or against the refusal to amend or replace a safety certificate, you may appeal to the Magistrates' Court at the above address.

Contact us

If you have a query about your permit you can contact the Licensing Team.

If you have a concern about a sports ground, you can report it online

European services directive

If you think that we have not complied with the European services directive by imposing requirements or conditions in respect of your application that are discriminatory, unfair or disproportionate, contact the UK SOLVIT Centre.

Health and safety

A sports ground that does not need a certificate, should ensure that people working at the ground (as well as spectators) are not put at risk. 

Further information on health and safety.

Trade associations and other sources of information