What is an Event?

What is an Event?

For the purposes of Middlesbrough Council’s Events Team, an event is defined as:

“Any pre-planned or organised activity designed and promoted to attract a gathering of over 50 people: consumers, participants and / or spectators”.

It does not therefore include any informal leisure activity that that would normally take place in a park such as a casual sporting activity, group picnic or flying model planes. However such activities would become chargeable events if they require additional infrastructure, facilities or equipment to be supplied or approved by us.

Below is a list of events in open spaces that would require approval from us. The list is not exhaustive and ultimately a decision on the status of any activity will rest with us.

  • Art exhibition / display / installation
  • Carnival
  • Commercial leisure installation such as balloon ride, ice rink etc.
  • Circus
  • Charity Collections, Fundraising, Roadshows
  • Cycling event
  • Dance event
  • Dog Show
  • Festival / Fun-Days
  • Flower or horticultural show
  • Funfair
  • Faith event
  • Filming & photo-shoots
  • Firework display
  • Helicopter landings
  • Market bookings
  • Mela
  • Musical concert or performance
  • Orienteering
  • Outdoor theatre & cinema
  • Procession
  • Promotional activities – stalls, vehicles etc.
  • School activity days
  • Sports Tournaments (over a certain size)
  • Sponsored walks & runs & bike-rides
  • Vehicle rally / displays

Applying to hold an event

Middlesbrough Council’s Events Team is dedicated to supporting the safe planning and regulation of events and filming on Middlesbrough Council land. Together with partners across the town we help facilitate over 50 multi-scale events across Middlesbrough to help build stronger communities.

We encourage events which:

  • build understanding between communities, celebrate diversity and promote equality
  • encourage a healthy lifestyle
  • are environmentally friendly

If you want to hold an event on land owned by Middlesbrough Council, you will need permission from the local authority.

Things you need to know:

  • As an event organiser, you are responsible for the planning, organisation and operation of your event
  • An event can be anything from a sponsored walk or community picnic through to large-scale music or sporting spectaculars. For a more detailed but not definitive list, see our Common events enquiries section
  • Make sure that you read this website thoroughly before you submit the online event application
  • There is a non-refundable application fee of £20 for every submitted application.
  • Expect to be asked to pay a hire fee for the use of our land. This is applicable as soon as we start processing your application.

The size and type of the event determines how to apply and fees payable.

Size Audience capacity* How to apply
Small Up to 499 Submit an Event Notification Form
Medium 500 – 5,000
Large Over 5,000 Submit an Event Notification Form and then complete the Event Management Form when requested

*Audience capacity is the maximum number of people expected at the event at one time.

Size Audience Capacity Requirements Minimum deadline

for submitting initial application

Small events (a) Up to 499 Without a road closure and/or a premises licence. 3 months before the event.
Small events (b) Up to 499 An event likely to require a Road Closure Order and/or premises license. 3 months before the event.
Medium events 500 – 5,000 An event likely to require a Road Closure Order and/or premises license. 6 months before the event.
Large Events 5,000 -10,000 An event that requires a Premises Licence and/or Road Closure Order on major roads. 6 months before the event.
Major Events over 10,000 An event likely to require Premises license and /or Road Closure Order on major roads. 12 months before the event.

All events will be required to comply with the guidance provided by the Health &
Safety Executive guide HSG 195 The Event Safety Guide (second edition): A guide to health, safety and welfare at music and similar events available from www.hse.gov.uk.
Professional firework displays must comply with Health & Safety Executive Guide (HSG 123).


Small & Medium Events

The event organiser submits an Event Notification Form a minimum of 3/6 months before event set up on site begins. Where an event is considered to have significant impact on an area, site or residents, or requires a considerable emergency services operation, it may be considered a large event regardless of estimated audience size. The notification form is assessed by local authority Events Team and will grant permission for the event or refer the event to the Independent Safety Advisory Group.

The Event Notification Form contains questions and guidance on the areas you will need to consider before holding an event.

Depending on the nature of the event, you may need to plan for some of the areas listed below under ‘large events’.

Large Events

A submission of an Event Notification Form followed by the Event Management Form is required at least 6-8 months before the event set up on site begins. If further development of the event plan is necessary a timescale greater than 6 months is likely to be required. If the timescale for event planning is not met, consent will not be granted.


Event Management Plan

Organisers of large events will need to complete the Event Management Form using your Event Management Plan which will be subject to the approval by the multi-agency Independent Safety Advisory Group.

The plan will include but not be limited to:

  • Access Provision
  • Cancellation procedure including adverse weather conditions
  • Child and vulnerable adult protection
  • Complaints procedure
  • Concessions and caterers
  • Crowd management
  • Emergency control
  • Entertainment
  • Environmental / Sustainability impact
  • Equal opportunity statement
  • Event communication plan including named contacts
  • Fire safety and evacuation
  • First aid / medical
  • Food safety
  • Infrastructure
  • Licensing requirements
  • Lost children and property procedures
  • Marketing
  • Noise management
  • Public liability insurance
  • Risk assessments
  • Sanitary provision
  • Security and stewarding provision
  • Site plans
  • Statement of intent
  • Production and event timetable
  • Traffic management
  • Transport management
  • Waste management


The following criteria will be used to determine whether approval will be given to a specific event. These criteria will be considered during the application process to ensure compliance with the objectives of this policy and the requirements for holding an event.

  • Public safety and security issues
  • The ability of the event organiser to manage the financial requirements of the event
  • The ability of the organisers to effectively plan, manage and control the event
  • Impact upon the environment and damage limitation
  • Impact of the event on regular users of public spaces, stakeholders and local residents
  • Timing of the event
  • Size of location, numbers attending or numbers estimated to attend
  • Impact on transport and traffic infrastructure to support the event e.g. parking,
  • Increased use of public transport and road closures.
  • Type of event
  • The creation of opportunities for local participation
  • The ability to demonstrate commitment to Middlesbrough Council’s equal
  • opportunities statement
  • Legal constraints
  • Compliance with conditions specific to the event location
  • Compliance with statutory requirements as required by the council as the
  • Highways or Environmental Health and Licensing Authority e.g. noise disturbance and food hygiene
  • Compliance with the council’s animal welfare charter
  • Impact on traffic and transport infrastructure for those not participating in the event.