Skip to main content

Safety at sports grounds

  • Licences for sports grounds safety

    Sports grounds in Belfast with a capacity of 5,000 people or more must have a valid safety certificate.

    This includes eight grounds in Belfast: 

    • Solitude (Cliftonville Football Club)
    • Seaview (Crusaders Football Club)
    • Donegal Celtic Park (Donegal Celtic Football Club)
    • The Oval (Glentoran Football Club)
    • National Football Stadium at Windsor Park (Irish Football Association and Linfield Football Club)
    • Casement Park (Antrim Gaelic Athletic Association)
    • Corrigan Park (St John’s Gaelic Athletic Club)
    • Kingspan Stadium (Irish Rugby Football Union).

    We are responsible for issuing these certificates, which help to ensure the reasonable safety of spectators.

  • How to apply

    To apply, you must supply details about the venue and the sports played there, as well as the name of the principal contact person for the ground and a 'qualified person'. 

    A qualified person is defined as 'a person who is likely to be in a position to prevent a contravention of the terms and conditions of a certificate'. 

    They should hold a position of authority within the management of the venue and may include a chairman, chief executive, secretary, sports ground manager or director, depending on the ground or club.

    It costs £100 to apply for a safety certificate. 

    Apply for a safety certificate for a designated sports ground

    Read the terms and conditions for online services and our privacy statement.

    We'll try to issue a safety certificate within three to four months of receiving the application, however in exceptional circumstances it may take up six to eight months.

    When considering the application, we'll consult with the Chief Constable and the Fire and Rescue Service about the terms and conditions of the certificate. A similar process applies to applications for a safety certificate for a regulated stand.

  • Appeals

    If your application has been refused, you can appeal in writing within 28 days, to:

    Belfast and Newtownabbey Magistrates Court
    Laganside Courts
    45 Oxford Street

  • More information

    If you want to discuss your application with our health and safety team, call us on 028 9027 0428 or email

    More information about fees for safety certificates is available from the Office of Public Sector Information website (link opens in new window).

    The Northern Ireland Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds is available from TSO bookstores (link opens in new window).

Read aloud icon Read aloud