Organising an event in a Salford public park, green space or open space

Private parties

Salford’s parks are not available for private hire such as weddings, private gatherings or birthday parties.

Important information: please read our advice page about orgainising an event

Organising an outdoor public event in Salford in 2024

Salford has a variety of great outdoor spaces available to hire for public events. Over 300 amazing events take place in our parks, open and green spaces each year. Tapping into vast depths of local talent, boosting the local economy, creating a strong sense of community, fostering a culture of innovation and imagination and contributing to the vibrant culture, environment and economy in the city.

Salford City Council recognises the value and benefit that a varied, safe and well managed outdoor events programme can offer people living, working and visiting the city. However, will also have to assess your application while considering the impact of your event on park users, local residents, businesses, stakeholders and the environment.

This page aims to give advice on how to organise an event, It outlines the procedures and processes we have in place while, providing clear and transparent information to both commercial and community event organisers.

Fees and refundable bonds may be charged for some events, we will send you details of any fees and bonds applied to your event once we have received your event application.

You must apply to hold an event in Salford a minimum of six weeks before your event date. There are three steps involved in processing your event application, these are explained below.

Event applications for events with food traders in Salford

Your event food and drink traders will be expected to provide up to date, readable paperwork files including:

  • Their FSH food rating with a minimum 3 rating
  • Street trading consent or licence paperwork
  • Evidence of public liability insurance
  • Adequate hand washing facilities

For further details on hand washing facilities, please read the guidance at the bottom of this page. Food traders without hand washing facilities will not be allowed to trade at your event in Salford.

Eco-friendly, biodegradable alternatives to plastic

From Sunday 1 October 2023 event organisers will be expected to stop using single-use plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks, expanded and extruded polystyrene food and drinks containers at outdoor event in Salford. Start to talk to your festival food vendors and suppliers about replacing them with eco-friendly, biodegradable alternatives. From October these products will start to be banned from festival and event venues across the country.

“Our smoothies will all be served in a recycled paper cup, with biodegradable paper straws. We collect all of our own litter and do a litter sweep at the end of our event so I can promise you no rubbish will be left!” Elizabeth Wilson, ISG Live

“We are committed to working with Salford City Council to make ‘Irlam Live’ a more sustainable event and fully support the goal to remove all single use plastic from our event in 2024" Phil Brookes, Irlam Live

Person smiling, holding paper cup, wrapped up warm and stood outside

HSE’s guidance on running events safely

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website has a selection of guidance to help you plan your event.

HSE’s guidance provides some additional advice for organisers running outdoor events such as festivals, sporting events and concerts to help them run such events safely.

HSE’s website also includes guidance for organisers on how to plan, manage and monitor an event as well as guidance on how to manage crowds safely.

Pressure on North West Ambulance Service on event medical cover

  • Event organisers should read the guidance from North West Ambulance Service at the bottom of this page regarding medical cover for their event. Currently getting an ambulance to your location in the event of an emergency may take longer than expected.
  • You must fully outline your first aid and emergency planning in your event management plan.
  • First Aiders should be trained to a FREC level 3. Staff with ‘First Aid at Work’ certification should not be used as First Aiders at an outdoor events in Salford.
  • Please ensure you have medical staff, facilities and equipment on site to keep your patient/s stable, warm and comfortable until help arrives.
  • You can call 999 on a mobile phone and give accurate and clear details of the emergency and location, and be prepared to take advice over the phone from the call handler.

Animals at events on council managed land

Salford City Council take animal welfare at events very seriously. The council have strengthened the policy on live animals at events on council-owned land, including our parks and open spaces. Event organisers will not be permitted to use animals for entertainment purposes, such as performing animals, animals in costumes for amusement purposes including animal rides, at events on council land from March 2024.

Permission on request will be given for dogs shows, Gymkhana and pony shows, animals exhibited for educational purposes and wild bird display proving animal welfare and licensing documents are in place and in date at the time of the event.

For the full policy and guidance notes on animals at events, please download the document at the bottom  of this page. If you need further guidance email eventapplications@salford.gov.uk

Event applications for group activities or events in parks, green spaces or open spaces

There is one single application form for all events taking place on council owned land.

Events requiring an application include:

  • Community or not for profit events and gatherings
  • Commercial events
  • Charity or fund-raising events
  • Fitness and coaching sessions
  • Markets and car boots
  • Marches and parades
  • Sports events including road races and rides
  • Events on or by water at Salford Quays
  • Forest schools or environmental/educational activities
  • Temporary installations or exhibitions 

Applications for a season or series of events can be included on this one form.

The form should be completed by the event organiser, and they must include the details of your organisation’s public liability insurance cover for your event.

Insurance

Please ensure that you arrange adequate insurance cover for the event. Insurance cover is needed for all staff, helpers, spectators, and property. As part of the application process, you must provide proof that you have a valid insurance policy in place.

Normally your insurers will want you to have assessed all the risks and taken steps to eliminate or control as many as possible.

Ensure you obtain copies of any contractor’s insurance policies and keep on file.

Salford City Council does not accept any liability for any loss or damage caused to persons or property howsoever caused as a result of your event or public gathering.

The event organiser shall at their own cost obtain public liability insurance which must indemnify the council against any and all claims, demands and proceedings arising out of your event.

Event safety planning

The event manager in charge at events over 1,000 people, must be able to comply with the guidance in the Health and Safety Executive document ‘The Purple Guide’ and must be familiar with event safety planning guidance, crowd ratios and emergency protocols as laid out in this document. They will be responsible for providing all the documentation by any deadline issued by the council.

Planning ahead

The application form will only be activated if your event takes place six weeks from the date of application.

Events within six weeks of application will not be accepted.

The application form requires details of your event management plans, so you will need to have these plans at hand when you start the form.

Private barbeque and cooking fires are not permitted as part of events. Unless provided by a registered food vendor and/or after consultation with the council.

Food and drink at events in Salford

Please note that Food Hygiene Legislation applies to any activity that involves handling food and drink. Anyone serving or selling food at an event on Salford land must adhere to current food hygiene legislation which is Regulation (EC) 852/2004 Hygiene of Foodstuffs and the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

Food businesses also need to comply with the General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 and the General Food Regulations 2004.

If you want to trade as a mobile caterer within Salford, you must either, already be registered with Salford, or apply for a temporary consent to trade. The registration process ensures that caterers or vendors adhere to current legislation. An event organiser must confirm with the caterer or vendor that they are registered with the local authority where they store their mobile vehicle or where they produce their food. If the business is not registered with their local authority they must apply. If the trader does not currently have consent to trade within Salford, they must apply for a temporary street trading licence. All this information must be provided within the event paperwork.

Please note any traders that you want to attend an event must be a minimum of a 4 rating, have been inspected in the last couple of years. We will not accept a trader that is awaiting inspection.

Ticketed events will be exempt from street trading charges but speak with Salford City Council’s event coordinator to confirm this for your event.

View a full list of registered vendors (Adobe PDF format)

Please carefully consider the consequences for you, your staff, volunteers, contractors, suppliers, and the public, if permission for your event is withdrawn by Salford City Council for any reason.

Salford City Council will not be liable for any loss of income or costs associated with cancellation, or withdrawal of permission for your event at any time.

Advertising your event on the adopted highway or park railings in Salford 

Please note that under Section 132 of the Highway Act 1980, it is illegal to place or attach banners or posters etc to any street furniture on the adopted highway, for example pedestrian guardrail, lighting columns, traffic poles and so on. Any such advertising will be removed, and the appropriate cost recharged to the relevant event organiser. Should an event organiser have an existing refundable bond with the city council, the fee will automatically be deducted from that bond. 

Please get permission for the land owner before placing banners or posters advertising your event on their property.

For permission for banners and posters to be displayed on park railings contact eventapplications@salford.gov.uk

There are three steps to assessing your application

Step one

Salford City Council will check availability of the location on the dates and times you have requested. They will check the suitability of the space for the event described and the activities you intend to undertake. Including arrangements for event car parking, and installation of temporary structures, barriers, crowd size and management, noise controls, food vending and sale of alcohol.

At this stage your application could be refused if the space is not suited to the event, event content or crowd size you have described in the application.

Step two

Your application maybe referred to the city’s Safety Advisory Group, this group is made up of key partners including Greater Manchester Police, regulatory officers, and other emergency services. You may be asked to supply your operational and site plans along with significant crowd management plans for SAG to review before a decision is made.

You may be asked to attend a SAG meeting to discuss your event - this will be a virtual meeting on Microsoft Teams.

You will be asked to supply significant paperwork depending on the size and activities being planned. Your must have this ready to submit. The paperwork must be in date, site specific, properly labelled and titled. File and documents that are not properly titled with content and event title will not be accepted. 

Your suppliers and contractors will also be required to submit their company paperwork by a deadline.

This paperwork may include:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Method statement
  • Risk assessment
  • Safety inspection documents
  • Company health and safety policies
  • Technical documents and diagrams
  • Animal welfare documents

Your application may be refused at this stage if the documents requested are not received by the deadline or are ‘out of date’ or not site specific.

Sports, fitness, and wellbeing sessions

Fitness instructors, coaches, and wellness activity leaders must provide evidence of their qualifications and in some cases DBS checks if working with children and vulnerable adults.

Step three

You will then be notified of the outcome of your application, along with deadlines for any additional paperwork, licensing, site fees or insurance documents required.

For some events, you will be asked to sign an Indemnity Agreement.

Where fees are required, you will be given a breakdown of the fees and a deadline for payments.

Should your application be refused, an explanation of the decision will be given. The final decision will be made by the Salford Safety Advisory Group in the event of an appeal.

Travelling fairgrounds and amusement park applications from the funfair and bouncy castle sector

Salford City Council is accepting written ‘expressions of interest’ applications from funfair operators (Travelling Fairground Sector) for selected Salford parks. 

Sites not available include Monton Green, Clifton Country Park, Three Sisters, Worsley Green, Blackleach Country Park and Kersal Wetlands.

Applicants will then be contacted via email and may be invited to discuss their plans with the city’s Safety Advisory Group. This group meets monthly.

Commercial fees and a refundable bond will apply. Applicants must sign an agreement with Salford.

You must ensure all documentation, certification, insurance, and inspection paperwork is up to date and complete before you apply.

Please email eventapplications@salford.gov.uk with proposed dates and locations for funfairs.

Bouncy castles and other play inflatables: safety advice for event organisers

Bouncy castles and inflatables are fun filled activities for children at festivals and events in Salford, however they have many risks. Several serious accidents have occurred where inflatables have collapsed or blown away in windy conditions at outdoor events across the UK.

Check the HSE guidance for bouncy castles and inflatables. This will help you and your and suppliers understand why we require paperwork and insurance cover certificates plus simple safety checks from you to avoid serious accidents happening at your event.

Health and safety law applies to the supply, hire and use of inflatables for events.

This guidance applies to inflatables devices that are covered by BS EN 14960, and that can be used both outside and inside.

Important information: please read our advice page about organising an event

Apply to hold an outdoor public event (single application form)

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