Hosting an event on council land

Events will need to be planned in accordance with the national guidelines and it should be noted they are subject to change with limited notice.

The Event Organiser must provide a Covid-secure risk assessment and comply with all Government laws and guidance.

Hosting an event

All events on Council owned land within Southend-on-Sea must:

  • be authorised by us and have an Event Permit issued
  • have valid Public Liability Insurance of at least five million pounds cover
  • some events may also need other licences or permits

You must submit an event application form with supporting documents and application fee.

It takes at least six weeks to process an application for a small event on Council land and four weeks for a small event in Southend High Street. Fees apply. Please see our fees and charges.

Planning an event

We recommend you contact us in advance to help make sure your event runs as smoothly and safely as possible. Email for further information.

You must read the Council’s Events Policy before you apply:

  • hosting an Event on Southend-on-Sea City Council Land Policy

Event locations

You can hire event sites in the Town Centre, Seafront and Parks areas. Please see the Council’s Fees and Charges. If a site is not on the list, please contact us before you apply, and we’ll check if the site can be hired.

How to apply - small scale event on council land

For small charity, non-commercial and community events with up to 100 attendees during the whole event (subject to current Government guidance); and starts after 9am and finishes before 9pm.

The event must not include: alcohol, inflatables, bonfire or use of fire, fireworks, barbeque.

To apply for a permit use the online form.

It takes at least six weeks to process the paperwork. We must receive an application form and supporting documents in order to progress the application. Fees apply.

How to apply - small scale High Street event

For charity, community and commercial events in one of the event spaces in Southend High Street. Numbers subject to current Government guidance.

To apply for a permit use the online form.

It takes at least four weeks to process the paperwork. We must receive an application form and supporting documents in order to progress the application. Fees apply.

How to apply - event application form

For charity, community, commercial and non-commercial events expecting over 100 attendees (subject to Government guidance) or for small events that have more complex activities.

To apply for a permit use the online form.

It takes at least eight weeks to process the paperwork. We must receive an application form, Event Management Plan and supporting documents in order to process the application. Fees apply.

Further guidance

Health and Safety Executive

Southend-on-Sea Safety Advisory Group

Bouncy castles and other play inflatables

Health and safety law applies to the supply, hire and use of inflatables for commercial purposes. Before hiring, supplying or using an inflatable please see our health and safety - inflatables page.

Balloon and lantern sky release

If you are planning a Balloon or Lantern Sky release, please see our guidance document.

Community event support and equipment hire

If you need help with community event planning (fees apply) or to hire community event equipment including the vehicle mitigation barriers.

Event debrief form

You must complete and return the Debrief Form within four weeks after the event has taken place.

Public events - making your event COVID Ssecure

The risk of Coronavirus spreading remains a threat to our community’s health and wellbeing. That’s why if you are considering holding an event we would advise you to take steps to make sure the event is safe. We have a shared responsibility to protect people from harm. This includes taking the right steps to protect staff and people who are attending your event from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and making sure all health and safety laws are followed. This quick guide has been developed to promote an approach we all can follow. It provides advice as to what you need to think about to make sure you are keeping the risk of spreading Coronavirus as low as possible.

Further information and guidance can be found using the following links:

The visitor economy - Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Guidance - GOV.UK (

Covid-19 organised events guidance (

EIF-DCMS-COVID-19-Working-Safely-11-March-2021.pdf (

You should read all the documents that are relevant to your event carefully and put in place the required measures to make your event safe.

Key considerations and actions

  • carry out a risk assessment. This must be completed for every event and needs to be specific to the type of event you are hosting. Managing risks and risk assessment at work - Overview -HSE
  • put in place strong systems and procedures for infection prevention and control
  • make sure there are enough informative signs in your event advising people of their responsibilities to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. If possible, provide information about this before the event. Some useful templates can be found here: Southend BID Business Templates
  • think about capacity. Make sure there is enough space for everyone to follow any social distancing rules that apply at the time across the event space
  • think about group sizes. Think about whether or not it is possible to limit numbers and separate groups. This should not limit what you’re planning but should be proactive and practical
  • make sure queues are managed effectively in all areas (bars, catering provisions, toilets, activities etc.) and upon entry
  • think about handwashing facilities, liquid hand soap and paper towels for hand drying. If any new handwashing stations are being installed, non-hand operable taps are preferred
  • avoid relying too much on only using hand sanitising gel. Handwashing is better to prevent spread of the virus. Dirt, soil and grime prevents gel from working and hands must be clean before it is used
  • you should think about whether or not face coverings are necessary. Think about who should wear them and where they should be worn when carrying out your risk assessment
  • promote and engage in testing for staff and visitors, even if they don’t have any Covid-19 symptoms. Testing kits are readily available: Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests - NHS (
  • promote COVID marshals to encourage everyone to follow the rules. They should oversee crowd management. This may need specialist security. This should be included in your risk assessment
  • outdoor options: Think about whether or not you can run the event safely outside instead as the risk of the virus spreading is lower outdoors. Make sure you have a back-up plan and do an appropriate risk assessment in case you run into difficult weather
  • indoors: Maximise fresh air ventilation. Keep doors and windows open wherever possible. Keep all occupied spaces well ventilated
  • keep the mixing between participants for indoor and outdoor activities as low as possible
  • events with multiple groups: Make sure you factor in enough time to clean and prepare between groups. This would help prevent people from waiting in large groups for this to happen, especially inside. Have waiting areas outdoors where possible
  • think about the hazards of shared equipment. Make sure there are enough effective cleaning and rotation measures in place
  • if your event has particularly high risks, think about whether or not it needs to be assessed at the Safety Advisory Group


Martyn’s Law

In December 2022 the Home Secretary made an announcement regarding the foundational policy for Martyn’s Law, formerly known as the Protect Duty, in Parliament.

Legislation will be brought forward as soon as parliamentary time allows. Martyn’s Law will extend to and apply across the whole of the United Kingdom.

Further information on Martyn’s Law can be found on the:

Contact Environmental Health

Telephone: 01702 215005

Useful websites - promote your event on Visit Southend

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