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Cambridge City Council

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Hire a park or open space for your event

The use of any of Cambridge's parks and open spaces to host an event requires permission from us.

We are committed to supporting community events and will consider licensing all proposed events as we recognise that they provide an opportunity to enjoy and take part in a rich variety of music and entertainment, as well as bringing more people into the area in support of both economic and cultural growth.

If you’re planning to run an event, we encourage you to review the government’s coronavirus guidelines and the county council’s advice for event organisation.

You should also follow any recommendations from your relevant governing body or association, and ensure that coronavirus-related risks are identified and mitigated for in your event risk assessments. You might find our mass gathering risk assessment tool [PDF, 0.2MB] and principles for Covid-safe events [PDF, 71Kb] useful.

Hire an open space

  1. Read our guide to the application process [PDF, 16Kb]
  2. Check the pricing guide [PDF, 0.1MB]
  3. Submit a statement of intent

Hire a park for fitness activities

You need permission from us to deliver fitness classes and activities, or other group or club events, on our parks and open spaces. The cost of hire is £350 per quarter.

Before applying, please ensure you have read our privacy notice. We will ask for your personal information in this form to allow us to process the application.

We'll review your application with the relevant ward councillors.

You'll need to provide copies of your risk assessment and public liability insurance. You must have a limit of indemnity of £5 million per insurance claim.

Event Safety Advisory Group

If you’re planning to hold an event which involves a large gathering of people, please share the detail with our Event Safety Advisory Group.

The group can help with the planning, and provide you with advice on a range of issues including safety, street closures and licences.

The group is made up of senior officers from the emergency services and local councils, and chaired by us.

We suggest you tell the group about your event as early as possible, even if the details have not been confirmed yet.

Send a completed event form [PDF, 0.4MB] to or post it to Licensing, Cambridge City Council, PO BOX 700, Cambridge CB1 0JH.

Typical events the group should know about include:

  • fetes, fairs and carnivals
  • open-air concerts and music festivals
  • sporting events
  • trade shows
  • firework displays
  • large-scale company parties
  • processions and marches
  • street parties
  • religious events

Event licensing

The Licensing Act 2003 states that most events and activities will require a premises licence or temporary events notice.

This will be the case if you intend to carry out any of the following at your event:

  • the sale by retail of alcohol
  • the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to order of, a member of a club
  • the provision of late-night refreshment
  • the provision of regulated entertainment, including:
  1. the performance of a play
  2. the exhibition of a film
  3. an indoor sporting event such as boxing or wrestling entertainment
  4. a performance of live music
  5. any playing of recorded music
  6. a dance performance
  7. entertainment of a similar description to that falling within (5) or (6)

All formal events require a premises licence. An event is considered to be formal when there are likely to be over 50 attendees, is commercial in nature and the location of the event will make that area unavailable for public use.

A temporary events notice (TEN) can be issued for events for up to 499 people (including staff, stewards and performers) and for a maximum period of four days.

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to apply for and cover the cost for either of the licences.

Event health and safety

All organisers of events will require public liability insurance with a limit of indemnity of £5,000,000 per claim. All contractors and performers will also need their own public liability cover.

As part of your application, Cambridge City Council must ensure that you have considered the potential risk to your event attendees, staff and organisers and the public at large who may be in the vicinity or affected by potential dangers.

Risk assessment

It is a requirement of Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 that a sufficient assessment of risk is made.

In completing a risk assessment, you provide protection to everyone involved in the event. This includes everyone who is on site at the event but also provides some protection to you as the event organiser and Cambridge City Council as the land owner or manager, in case of an accident.

The risk assessment should be appropriate to the risk. This means that you must show that you have considered the potential risk to the public and can identify the steps which should be taken to protect people from harm.

The Five Steps to Risk Assessment guide [PDF] [PDF, 0.2MB] from the Health and Safety Executive contains a template risk assessment form which you can use to help make your assessment.

Depending on the size and nature of your event it may be necessary to complete a more specific or detailed assessment.

The Health and Safety Executive website contains a large amount of information and guidance on what is required for various types of events.

Popular event locations

The sites listed here are the most-commonly used areas for medium- to large-scale public events in Cambridge.

Cherry Hinton Hall is a 12.67 hectare park in the south of the city with trees, a pond, paddling pool, tennis court and children's play area. Past events have experienced audiences up to 12,000. Car parking is available through negotiated agreements with local schools. Heavy vehicle access and water and sewage points are available, and the site has an electricity sub-station.

Christ's Pieces is a 3.2 hectare parkland setting with trees, flower beds, children's play area and tennis courts. Past events have experienced audiences up to 1,000 attendees. This site experiences high levels of pedestrian footfall. Vehicle access is restricted and limited to 7.5 tonnes.

Jesus Green is a 11.13 hectare park next to the river. Past events have experienced audiences in excess of 8,000. Heavy vehicle access and water and sewage points are available, and the site has an electricity sub-station.

Midsummer Common is 13.4 hectares of open common land next to the river. Past events have experienced audiences in excess of 25,000. Heavy vehicle access and water and sewage points are available. There are restricted operating conditions; please contact us to discuss before making an application.

Parker's Piece is a 9.62 hectare square of clear open space in the heart of the city. Past events have experienced audiences in excess of 20,000 attendees. Heavy vehicle access is available, along with limited water sewage points.