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Safety at Sports Ground

Under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975, the local authority is required to issue and enforce a Safety Certificate to designated sports grounds or on Regulated Stands. You must hold a safety certificate if you operate a designated sports ground (one that holds more than 10,000 spectators) or a ground that has regulated stands (covered stands that accommodate 500 or more spectators). 

To learn more about safety at sports grounds, please refer to the Sports Ground Safety Authority.

Before applying

Before you apply for a safety certificate, please ensure that your application complies with the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (known as the 'Green Guide') as this is the benchmark against which the application will be assessed.

How to apply

Amend an existing certificate - to apply for an amendment to an existing General Safety Certificate please complete the form below with details of the amendment and the certificate to which it applies.

Make an application - please complete the form below, if you have any queries please contact our office to discuss the process by calling 01752 304343 or email

To apply for a sports ground safety certificate you will need to provide:

  • location/site plan
  • drawings, plans and specifications (ideally electronically)
  • risk assessment (fire safety for example)
  • traffic management plans
  • contingency plans
  • safety policy for all spectators
  • electrical certification
  • medical plans
  • structural details and calculations
  • details of the safety team hierarchy including all responsible persons.

Information on all of the above can be found on the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) website.


Plymouth City Council Building Control have delegated authority to ensure that the public are safe in the city's sports stadiums that hold more than 500 persons under a covered roof. These stands require certification. Each of the two stadiums (Plymouth Albion RFC and Plymouth Argyle FC) have existing safety certificates but these must be updated/amended when required. 

Special Safety Certificates need to be issued for any other event that takes place in the grounds other than football or rugby. For example, pop concerts, religious gatherings and other sporting events other than what the certificates specify. 

  • new safety certificate: £3,257
  • amendment to existing safety certificate: £510 to £2,616*.

*Dependent on complexity/involvement with the emergency services/public notice.

  • special safety certificate: £6,413**.

**Dependent on submission of information and application in line with the times stated on the safety certificate.

Plymouth Albion RFC

Plymouth Argyle FC

* Amendment to the above safety certificate for Plymouth Argyle FC to include Stage 5 social distancing football.

Summer 2023

Plymouth Argyle FC have submitted a revision of their General Safety Certificate for Home Park to Plymouth City Council.

This will be applicable for the 2023/24 football season. The capacity is set at - 17,494 spectators plus staff – total 17,944