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Apply to hold an event

Coronavirus (COVID-19): update on holding public events

The safety and welfare of the public is at the forefront of any decision to allow events to take place during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

We'll assess applications to hold an event on a case by case basis in line with government regulations. Our criteria for this will include:

  • The current infection rate across the borough.
  • The nature of your event, including the number of attendees, site, proposed activities and transport plans to get to and from the venue.
  • The COVID-19 safety measures you'll have in place that meet government requirements.

​​​​​​​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.

Who needs to apply for permission

You should submit an application if your event will:

  • Take place on council land or the highway
  • Impact on traffic or parking
  • Require road closures or ‘no waiting’
  • Have loud music
  • Provide entertainment
  • Sell food or drink
  • Require licences, such as 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.


As a guide the following timescales are required:

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

Apply ​to hold an event

To apply to hold a public event:

  1. Read the Checklist for Event Organisers (184kb pdf) - this contains everything you'll need to apply. We cannot process your application until we receive all your documents.
  2. Complete the apply to hold a public event form below.
  3. ​We aim to make a decision within 14 working days of receiving your completed application and all the required documents.
Apply to hold a public event (opens in a new window)

Guidance for event planning

Here are some guidelines that you may find useful for planning your event.

Templates for holding a public event

These templates may help you plan your event.

Additional forms you may need to complete

You may need to complete additional forms, depending on the details of your event. We'll contact you once you've applied to let you know if you need to complete and return any of these forms.

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:

Licences for your event

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 requirements for events

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 at your event

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 for events

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.

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 923136

Phone: Monday-Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Community Services
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU