If you want to organise a local event which may require permission from us, you must let us know by completing an event notification form.

The form requires a wide range of information which allows us to assess your plans and pass information through to the relevant departments (e.g. the highways department if road closures are needed etc). The department(s) will then contact you if they require any additional information, or to approve/reject any necessary permits before the event goes ahead.

Tell us about an event

Please email your completed form to events1@warrington.gov.uk

Delivering events safely

Our Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) will assess and provide advice on applications for events in line with relevant government guidance. 

Events cover a wide range of organised activities, ranging from small community events to large concerts including:

  • Carnivals, funfairs, fetes, steam rallies and community fairs
  • Display and performing arts, including street art events
  • Firework displays
  • Flower shows and gardening events
  • Literature fairs/festivals
  • Outdoor theatres and performing arts
  • Pet and animal shows
  • Physical activity and leisure events e.g. organised runs, charity events

Things to consider before submitting your application

If you wish to submit a risk assessment, you could consider all the stages of your event from the planning, assembly, opening, and taking down. It should apply to everyone involved, from volunteers to visitors, performers to the general public, and all elements of catering, performance areas, attractions and trading stands.

The risk assessment should include reasonable mitigation to ensure:

  • steps are taken to avoid queues building up
  • appropriate cleaning schedules are in place - cleanliness in all areas with a focus on touch points
  • customers are aware of how to travel safely to venues in advance of the event, according to the safer travel guidance
Risk assessment

A risk assessment should identify:

  • Which different groups or individuals could be at risk from transmission of COVID-19, including staff, volunteers, suppliers/delivery drivers, independent vendors, performers, attendees – local, national or international
  • Are there any particular vulnerabilities (e.g. age, ethnicity, health status) that would increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19
  • Where possible, can you remove any activity or situation that is at risk of transmitting COVID-19. Or if not, can you put controls in place to mitigate the risk of transmitting COVID-19
Event plan
Site map and plan of event layout
  • Do you have space available to encourage social distancing and the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces?
  • Will you have to limit the size for the event?
  • Has sufficient time been allocated for set up/take down due to the need for social distancing?
  • Consider your site layout and usage - where are the access points and emergency exits? Is a one way system for the site appropriate?
  • Consider the flow of people and movement around your event site, where are the ‘pinch points’, routes used as thoroughfares, ‘busy’ areas where people would be expected to queue for something or congregate?
  • Consider how your audience may behave - predictable (accessing catering/performance areas) and unpredictable circumstances (inclement weather/emergency scenarios) and plan accordingly
  • How will you communicate with attendees at short notice if you need to cancel the event to prevent large numbers of people ‘crowding’ near the venue site?
Site access
  • Consider advance booking only and/or fast-track and contactless entry at admission gates to minimise queues
  • Monitor those leaving the site as well as arriving to manage the number of visitors against your site capacity
  • Consider staggering arrival and departure times to minimise contact between people
  • How will you control your boundaries?


Restricting entry
  • Who are the essential persons onsite during set up and take downstage?
  • Anyone displaying signs of being unwell should be refused entry and advised to get tested/self-isolate in line with government guidance (attendees, staff, volunteers, traders, delivery drivers, performers)
Security stewards and support team
  • Clearly define the job roles for both security and stewards to manage your audience and keep your site safe in both expected and unexpected circumstances
  • Do you have sufficient numbers of staff/volunteers to ensure your security measures are maintained at all times?
  • Ensure that staff and volunteers at your event have been suitably trained
  • Special consideration should be given to higher risk areas e.g. where alcohol is served or where more popular entertainment is being provided to minimise contact between groups
  • Ensure staff have the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Signage and information
  • Ensure that your directional signage (if applicable) are clear and understandable
  • Have you planned signs for both inside and around the outside of your site?
Toilets, hygiene and cleaning
  • Are there sufficient toilets on site to reduce the formation of queues? They should be well ventilated, accessible, with appropriate hand washing facilities (including running water, liquid soap and suitable options for drying - either paper towels or hand driers)
  • Consider implementing a ‘limited entry’ approach - one in, one out, for example
  • If feasible, provide hand sanitiser on entry to toilets
  • Who is responsible for carrying out cleaning? What cleaning is required and how often is cleaning planned for these facilities? Particular attention should be given to cleaning frequently hand-touched surfaces (handles, flushes and taps) - please see the government's guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home for more information 
  • Consider putting up a visible cleaning schedule – this will help to keep it up to date and reassure people that the facilities are being cleaned regularly
  • It is recommended that alcohol-based cleaning products are used when toilets are in use as these are effective for COVID-19 within one minute.
  • Are there appropriate signs and hand sanitisation points throughout the site so that staff and the public can regularly wash/sanitise their hands?
  • Ensure frequent cleaning of event spaces, areas and equipment between use, using normal cleaning products (for additional advice on handling musical instruments, technical equipment and other similar objects, please review ‘the Performing Arts’ guidance)
  • What arrangements have been made for appropriate waste collection and disposal? This may need to be provided more frequently
Caterers and traders
  • Providers should be informed of your policy/requirements and indicate whether they understand and are agreeable in advance of entering your event site
  • Encourage providers to operate with contactless payments where possible or perhaps a click and collect service via online booking, if feasible
  • Any items of furniture (tables and chairs) should be frequently cleaned with suitable  detergents/sanitisers
  • Remind performers and engineers to help protect each other from the risk of COVID-19 transmission by avoiding sharing professional equipment and personal items e.g. labelling items with name of designated user, personal headsets/radios/ear pieces, with regular cleaning and disinfection of equipment
Medical provision
  • Do you have suitable and sufficient emergency medical assistance confirmed for the size and nature of your event? 
  • Work with your medical provider to ensure provision is adequately risk assessed and fully meets your event requirements

Is there any guidance to help me?

In addition to the guidance listed, event organisers should also note any government restrictions or guidance that may be brought in, possibly at short notice, to tackle increases in the prevalence of the virus. This may mean altering your plans.

Do I need a temporary event notice as well? If so, you can apply for a temporary event notice online.

Events Involving Animals

For an event to include animals you must have a licence from DEFRA. This specifies where the animals will be kept and the arrangements to be made to ensure their security. Animals should normally be penned in a separate area unless they are used to being close to people/petted. They should be protected from unwelcome attention and in particular from excited children who may not realise that their behaviour may cause distress to an animal. All animals should be provided with adequate food and drink and veterinary assistance should be readily available should this be required.

We do not permit circus animals or any wild performing animals on our land. We do not allow live gold fish as prizes at fairgrounds or other events on our land.

Legal disclaimer:

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to comply with all relevant law and guidance and to ensure the event is conducted safely. Sign off by our Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) does not imply that the council, or any of the ESAG partners, have approved the event or accepted any liability for injury to or loss by any participants.

Neither Warrington Borough Council nor any of the participants in the ESAG accept any liability for loss to event organisers arising from the cancellation of or adjustment to any events or event plans after they have been signed off by the ESAG arising from changes in national law, guidance or practice.

26 July 2023