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Apply to hold an event

​​​​​​​To hold an event you may need to apply for permission and give us time to assess it and put in place the relevant legal requirements. As a guide the following timescales are required:

  • 1 months notice – for events where there are no requirements to use the Highway, for example, a ​small fete in a park or green space.
  • 4 months notice – for events where there is a requirement to use the roads or pavements, or for larger static events where a road closure would be required.

​​​To make the process as easy as possible follow the 3 steps.

Step 1: Check if you need to apply

You should submit an application if your event will:

  • Impact on traffic or parking.
  • Take place on council land.
  • Require road closures or ‘no waiting’.
  • Have loud music.
  • Provide entertainment.
  • Sell food, drink or alcohol.
  • Require licences e.g. street trading or sale of alcohol.
  • Attract over 200 people.

If your event is on private land and doesn’t fall into one of the above categories you do not need to notify the Council.

Step 2: Gather essential information to support your application

The following essential information must be supplied with your initial ​application form in order for your event to be assessed. 

  • Route Map or Site Plan if your event has a requirement to use the highway.
  • Evidence of Public Liability Insurance.

​​​​Depending on the type of event you're planning, we may contact you for further information. This can include:​​​​

  • Event Plan – details of the event and how you'll manage it.
  • Risk Assessment.
  • Traffic Management Plan (if applicable) – written details of how the traffic will be managed around your event, e.g. if there will be a road closure to facilitate your event how will the emergency services access the area of the event site or beyond it? will there be a diversion? If there is a parking issue where will you direct people attending your event to.

​Step 3: Apply ​to hold an event

Completing the event application form is neither a licence application nor permission to conduct certain activities. ​Please give us as much information about your event as possible so we can assess it properly.​​​​

Apply to hold an event

Once we’ve received your application we will check to see if you need any additional licences or if you need to complete one of the risk assessments or forms below.

What else you need to know


After applying to hold an event, the Licensing Team will contact you if your event needs additional licences. You will need a licence if you're planning to:

  • Collect for charity.
  • Sell alcohol.
  • Include alcohol in the price of a ticket.
  • Have entertainment or play music.
  • Have stalls or street traders.

Food hygiene

To maintain the high standards that Rochdale council have at local events you must have:

  • Adequate hygiene training.
  • Hand and equipment washing facilities.
  • Suitable food storage.
  • Sanitiser.
  • Protective clothing.
  • Thermometer probe.
  • Food safety management records.

If you trade elsewhere you should have a minimum food hygiene rating of 3 (satisfactory).

Please check if you need to bring your own supply of power and hot and cold water.

If any food vendors are attending your event you should tell the food team on at least 14 days before the start of the event.

Health and safety

As an event organiser you have the prime responsibility for the health and safety of the general public attending your event, your workers and any contractors working for you. Your plans should demonstrate compliance with the requirements of any associated legislation. If you are holding an event on council owned land, or in council owned buildings, your plans will need to show that you have considered all the risks that your event may bring.

Risk assessments

A risk assessment should be carried out for all events and might need to be submitted to us before the event takes place.

Type of eventOrganiserSubmit prior to event
Private landPrivateNo
Council land or buildingPrivateYes
Council land or buildingCouncilYes

Public liability insurance

When organising an event you should ensure you have Public Liability insurance. You will be asked to provide evidence of this when submitting your application.

We're unable to provide advice on your insurance policies and levels of indemnity required for your event(s).
We are, however, able to confirm for each individual event the minimum public liability indemnity limits required by us. We do strongly suggest you obtain your own independent insurance advice by a qualified broker. Please note you may be personally liable for any claims over and above any insurance cover obtained by you.

There are various companies that provide insurance cover specifically for small organisations and charities. They'll be able to advise you on the minimum levels of cover you need, depending on the type of events you hold, but a minimum requirement for small or low risk events would be £5 million. You may wish to consider an annual policy rather than a single event policy if you are holding more than one event a year.

When using any third-parties, we strongly recommend you only use those with Public Liability insurance. You should check their cover and keep a copy for your records. Providing you have adequate cover, we will only request copies of the third parties' cover for high risk events such as inflatables and fun fairs.

Please note we may from time to time contact your insurance providers or brokers to clarify any details or issues.

Road closures

Road closures are usually required if your event involves stopping and restricting traffic and you should bear in mind the potential disruption to traffic, bus services and local access. There are other issues to consider about whether a road closure may be needed and there will be costs associated with this:

  • If a road closure is required you may need to consider employing a traffic management specialist to devise an appropriate traffic management plan. The council can make necessary road closure legal orders.
  • If temporary yellow signs and traffic cones are needed, then bear in mind that there may be a charge for their use.

Planning your event

Guidelines and information that you may find useful.

Event templates and forms

Templates to help you plan your event.

Fireworks and bonfire events

After applying to hold an event, we'll contact if you need to complete the fireworks display form or the bonfire risk assessment below:

Volunteering at events in the Rochdale borough

To manage the events that are held within the borough safely, we rely on volunteers from the local community. We're always looking for volunteers to help support local events.

Related pages


01706 926251

Phone: Monday-Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Community Services
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU