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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Events on Council owned land


Detailed preplanning is essential to ensure the event is successful. The following need to be considered at this stage:

  • Where. Make sure the venue you have chosen, is adequate for the proposed event. Do not forget to consider the impact on the local community, how easy it will be for people to get to the venue and any car parking requirements. Consider the suitability of the venue and any existing hazards, which may be on the site such as water hazards, overhead power lines etc. Consider whether or not emergency routes will be adequate.
  • When. Consider the time of year, including the consequences of extreme weather conditions at an outside event. The day of the week and time will also need consideration regarding the nature of the event, noise and ease of travel etc. You will probably need to arrange lighting for an evening function. The event should not clash with any other major events in the area.
  • Who. Identify the aims of the event. Are particular groups or types of people to be targeted, such as young children, teenagers, the elderly or disabled? If so, specific facilities may be required to accommodate them or additional stewards to ensure adequate safety standards are maintained.
  • What. Decide on the type of activities to be held. Will there be any specific hazards such as animals or water sports? If possible also try to establish the size of the proposed event and whether or not an entrance fee will be charged.
  • Specialist equipment. Will the activities require the use of any specialist equipment such as bungee jumps etc.? If so, does this equipment pose any specific hazards? Will a particular activity need barriers etc? Some equipment may require certificates of erection by a competent person.
  • Code of practice. For larger events there will be a need to comply with guidance particularly the Code of Practice for Outdoor Events published by the National Outdoor Events Association, which gives advice on structures, marquees, tents and electrical matters. The Health and Safety Executive Guidance on running events safely is also a very useful reference source.
  • Welfare arrangements. The organiser must estimate the number of attendees to the event and consider its duration. Toilet and first aid requirements should be based on these estimations. Advice is given in the Code of Practice for Outdoor Events referred to above. Permanent toilets should be checked for adequacy and maintained during the event. The provision of drinking water will be necessary. Depending upon the scale of the event, refreshments and other facilities may be required. Provision also needs to be made for lost children, missing persons, baby changing and lost property.
  • Special permission. A public entertainment licence may be needed if the event consists of music, dancing, singing or similar, or if it includes a display or exhibition of boxing, wrestling, judo, karate or similar sport. The procedure for licensing varies between each council. Therefore the local licensing officer should be contacted. A fee may be charged for a licence.
  • Insurance. All events will require public liability insurance. All contractors and performers will also need their own public liability cover with a £5 million Limit of Indemnity. Depending upon the nature of your organisation and the proposed event other insurances may also be required. Quotations should be obtained from your insurance provider.

When staging events, organisers should be aware that the support of the Police, the Fire & Rescue Service and the North West Ambulance Service in actually running the event cannot be assumed.

Events should be planned and organised so that the presence of the emergency services at the event is not required. These same services, as part of their "Ribble Valley Safety Advisory Group" role will however, offer any necessary assistance in the planning stages of the event.


  1. Events guidance note
  2. Risk assessment
  3. You are here: Pre-planning