Event booking

Last Updated: 20 June 2022

An outdoor event is an organised public gathering that usually takes place in an open space.

If you would like to organise an event on council land, you need to apply through our Events Team to get permission. 

The development of an exciting events programme is vital for South Lakeland District Council; it will enable the district to promote the best locations and activities, showcasing talent, tapping into artistic and sporting excellence whilst celebrating cultural heritage and diversity.

This guide has been put together to give basic help and advice to those who are organising events held on South Lakeland District Council land.

Before you apply to hold an event on our land you will need to:

  1. know what the fee will be for processing your application
  2. give us notice of your event
  3. check the conditions of hire

Types of events and fees

Commercial event

These events provide a commercial benefit to a profit making business or operation including product launches, corporate events and other marketing and promotional activities for profit making organisations.

Cost to hire land per event for commercial organisations

In order to hire land for a single or multiple commercial event(s), there will be a negotiable fee. This fee is for hire of land only. It does not include any additional fees for licensable activity or any additional service that we might provide like street cleaning or rubbish collection. If you are holding your event on prime land, there will be an additional negotiable fee.

For commercial events there will be a £50 fee for administering the application.


Any event organised by not for profit, community or voluntary groups that directly benefit the residents and visitors of the district, and do not provide significant advertising or other commercial benefit to a profit-making business or organisation.


Events organised by registered national or local charities and are predominantly fund raising events for the benefit of the charity.

Cost to hire land per event for community, charity and not for profit organisations

Cost to hire land
Number of attendees Net VAT Gross
Up to 50 £0 £0 £0
51 to 499 £50 £10 £60
500 to 4,999 £100 £120 £120
5000 to 14,999 £300 £60 £360

This fee is for hire of land only. It does not include any additional fees for licensable activity or any additional service that we might provide like street cleaning or rubbish collection. If you are holding your event on prime land, there will be an additional negotiable fee.

Booking fee for community, charity and not for profit organisations

Booking fee for community, charity and not for profit organisations. For community, charity and not for profit organisations there will be a £25 administration fee.

Giving notice for an event

Notice periods differ dependent on the type and size of the event. You need to give us early notice of an event, so we can provide appropriate advice. 

Community events

8 weeks’ notice (Estimated attendance up to 50 people like group fitness classes and children, toddler and youth groups).

For Community and Charity events with less than 50 people in attendance at any one time you will need to apply for permission to use council land. The permission doesn’t incur a charge, but the council needs to know that you are safely and responsibly hosting an event on its land. Whether this is a one-off or regular event, we can hold details on our system to make sure that future event planning is made simpler and easier for you.

Small events

3 months' notice (Estimated attendance more than 51 and up to 499 people like tea parties, Easter egg trails and art gatherings).

Medium events

6 months' notice (Estimated attendance more than 500 though less than 4,999 like fun runs, open water swims, road races, galas, fun days, parades).

Large events

10 months’ notice (Estimated attendance more than 5,000 though less than 14,999 people like open-air concert, music festivals, agricultural shows, traditional sports, firework displays and bonfires).

Estimated attendance refers to attendance at any one time.

How to apply

Before applying to hold an event on one of our parks or open spaces refer to the conditions of hire listed below.

Please complete the form well in advance of the date of your event to allow us to process your application.

Apply to hold an event

To hold an event on our land you will need a hold a minimum of £5 million public liability insurance and have undertaken the relevant risk assessments and provide these documents to us. We may also require a site plan and an event management plan. You must include all relevant information and attachments when prompted by the application process or you will not be able to proceed.

If you are planning to have licensable activity at the event you may need to apply for a temporary event notice (TEN).

Cumbria County Council's Single Point of Contact may need to be contacted for events, particularly if your event includes use of the public highway or if other agencies such as the emergency services need to be involved.

There is a separate SLDC procedure and fees if a temporary road closure is required. Please note there will be an administration fee of £50+VAT for road closures.

To apply for a road closure fill in our temporary road closure order application form (DOC 85KB / 3 pages). Return the completed form to our events team, contact details below.

Conditions of hire

Check the conditions below before making an application:

  • the applicant will indemnify us against the cost of making good any loss of, or damage to, (including fire) the premises (real or personal) arising out of the hirer’s activities
  • the applicant will indemnify us, our officers, servants and agents against all actions, costs or claims arising out of any accidents which may occur on the said premises arising out of the hirer activities
  • the applicant or applicant’s agents must be over 18 years of age
  • lettings will only be allowed where no reasonable conflict with other established local businesses exists
  • all display hoardings/materials and vehicles connected with the letting shall remain within the designated areas
  • no selling shall take place outside of the designated areas
  • no hawking or touting shall take place on or near the site
  • no pressurised sales techniques shall be employed by the hirer
  • we do not permit the exhibition, for entertainment, of any live animal or the giving of live animals (including fish) as prizes on South Lakeland District Council land
  • we cannot permit a mass release of balloons or the use of Chinese lanterns or similar types of lanterns at any even
  • any music played on site will be the responsibility of the hirer to inform the Performing Rights Society
  • where collections of money are to take place the necessary licence shall be produced for inspection by our officers and this will in any event only be allowed for registered charitable organisations
  • sub-letting of the booked site shall not be allowed
  • the hirer will allow our officers access to the site as is reasonably requested
  • all charge made by us for hire of the land shall be paid in advance
  • proof of Public Liability Insurance cover must be provided with stated maximum payout of not less than £5,000,000
  • all lettings shall be subject to any byelaws and deeds relating to the site and its environs
  • the applicant shall ensure that during the period of the letting no nuisance by noise, dust, etc. or other source shall be caused to residents and third parties. To this end the applicant shall be responsible for consulting the Environmental Protection Group prior to the event and applying any recommendations made to the applicant
  • the applicant shall ensure that the facilities indicated on the booking application are not exceeded during the event itself. If additional facilities are in evidence at any time which we had not been made aware of then we reserve the right to terminate the event forthwith, require the organisers to vacate the site immediately and no compensation or refund shall be payable
  • the applicant shall be responsible for ensuring the site is left in a clean and tidy condition to our satisfaction. Any costs incurred by us in making the site tidy after the event like litter collection, reinstating damaged ground/turf shall be met by the applicant on receipt of an invoice
  • chinese lanterns and balloon releases are not permitted
  • the applicant shall ensure that site surveys are undertaken for the identification and location of utilities in order to plan appropriate site layout
  • we should be allowed to add any further terms and/or conditions appropriate to the particular letting at the time
  • events with a religious or political focus are not permissible
  • events with high risk equipment including inflatables will be assessed on an event-by-event basis and organisers will be required to provide appropriate risk assessments and have high insurance

Conditions of hire (outdoor fitness classes)

Outdoor fitness classes are classed as commercial events and have become increasingly popular in our parks and open spaces and the council needs to ensure that fitness operators have permission to run their business operations from our sites.

The council encourages healthy lifestyles and for residents and visitors to enjoy our parks and open spaces – joining a fitness class is a great way to look after your health and wellbeing.

Check the conditions below before making an application:

  • you must not use benches as a step in order to do step exercises
  • you must not have any equipment attached to trees, railings, fences or other permanent structures
  • you must not block paths and public rights of way
  • you must consider whether there is adequate parking at each venue and location
  • noise levels must be kept to a minimum, including music levels, shouting, and giving loud instruction
  • you must consider the removal of rubbish afterwards

Event management plan

Organisers of events with over 51 attendees at any one time will need to produce an event management plan which will be subject to the approval of the Events Coordination 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
  • Sustainability

Safety Advisory Group (SAG) in South Lakeland

The SAG in South Lakeland oversees all outdoor events throughout the district. Most organisations that sit on the SAG will be involved in the planning of all large events, but you will not be asked to represent at SAG unless there are specific concerns around your event or the planning. At SLDC we host monthly ‘Events Coordination Group’ meetings, which are then reported back to SAG by the events team.

Prime event land

Some parks and green spaces can hold particularly large crowds and may have extra charges for use. The below spaces are classed as prime event land. The additional charge for hire of prime land will be by negotiation with SLDC.

  • Rayrigg Meadow
  • Abbot Hall
  • The Glebe
  • Rothay Park
  • Broadgate Meadow

Parks and green spaces

Parks in South Lakeland provides the locations of SLDC owned parks and open spaces.

Events on SLDC land during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Following step 4 on 19 July, we are following the Government’s Coronavirus COVID-19: Safer public places, managing outdoor setting guidance.

Whilst we will engage with event organisers to facilitate events on our land based on the dates given in the road map, we will be ensuring that provision is in place to remove permission at short notice should the dates change.

Weekly regular markets operating under a Market Charter in our towns and villages will not be included or covered under this decision.

This decision does not include land owned by us that is leased under contract to a third party.

The type of events include, but are not limited to: Burials, bonfires and firework displays, charity walks, concerts, cycle races and rides, fayres, festivals music or otherwise, fetes, fun fairs, motor sports, outdoor areas, runs and fun runs, seasonal markets, shows, sporting events and street parties.

COVID-19 advice for events hosts

Consider hosting it in a well-ventilated outdoor space. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily indoors, especially in poorly ventilated settings. Outdoor venues are safer than indoor spaces.

Make your event as safe as possible for guests. Encourage people to wear masks and ensure enough space for each attendee to maintain at least a 1-metre distance from others. Help your guests follow COVID-19 prevention measures: provide masks, alcohol-based hand sanitizer or access to soap and water, tissues and bins with lids that close.

COVID-19 advice for event attendees

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no “zero risk” when it comes to any kind of gathering – especially events that bring groups of people together. Regardless of the size of the event, you are at risk from COVID-19 whenever you get together with people. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily indoors, especially in poorly ventilated settings.

Stay home, if you don’t feel well or show any symptoms of COVID-19.

If you choose to attend a gathering, practice prevention measures, regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status:

  • keep at least a 1 metre distance from others
  • wear a mask
  • avoid crowded or poorly ventilated areas
  • cover coughs and sneezes with bent elbow or tissues
  • clean your hands frequently

These measures are a good idea to protect yourself and others, even when the event or venue doesn’t require you to practice them.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Small public gatherings