If you operate a sports ground that holds more than 10,000 spectators, you may be required to hold a safety certificate.

A safety certificate can be either:

  • 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

Safety certificates are available from Medway Council.

You must comply with any terms or conditions attached to a certificate.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a safety certificate, you must be likely to be in a position to prevent breaking the terms and conditions of a certificate.

Application evaluation process

You must provide requested information and plans to us within the time specified. If you fail to provide this information within the specified time, the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

We will consider if you are in a position to prevent any breach of the terms and conditions of a certificate.

We will send a copy of an application for a safety certificate to the chief police officer for Medway, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and South Thames Gateway Building Control Partnership. 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, we will determine if the person the certificate will be transferred to (if they made an application) would qualify for the issue of a certificate. The applicant could be the current holder of the certificate or the person who the certificate is to be transferred to.

We must send a copy of a transfer application to the bodies named above and consult them about any proposed amendment, replacement or transfer.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process an application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within the 28-day target period, please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service by using the contact details below.

Apply online

Failed application redress

Please contact us using the details below if your application is refused. If you are refused a safety certificate because you are not considered eligible, you can appeal to a magistrates court.

If you are refused a special safety certificate, you can also appeal to a magistrates court against a refusal of his or her application based on grounds other than a decision that they are not an eligible person.

Licence holder redress

Please contact us. Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to or anything missing from their safety certificate or against the refusal to amend or replace a safety certificate, may appeal to a magistrates court. They may also appeal to a county court against an order of a magistrate's court.

Consumer complaint

If you are a customer of a sports ground operator or a spectator, you should first contact the operator, preferably in writing, with proof of delivery. If that does not work and if you are located in the UK, Consumer Protection will give you advice. From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre

Other redress

Anyone who wants to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the safety certificate may appeal to a magistrate's court 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.

Trade association

Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA)


For more information contact Licensing Services on 01634 337 107 or 01634 337 108 or Enforcement on 01634 337 112 or 01634 337 106 or by emailing licensing@medway.gov.uk

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR.