Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

Safety of Sports Grounds

'Sport Matters: The Northern Ireland Strategy for Sport and Physical Recreation, 2009-2019' commits Government to ensuring that spectator provision at major sports stadiums  in Northern Ireland meets legislative requirements in terms of safety, accessibility and comfort. DCAL with the support of a range of stakeholders, is taking forward a Safety of Sports Grounds initiative which is designed to encourage and assist venue owners in enhancing safety and spectator management arrangements at larger sports grounds.

The primary legislation governing spectator safety at major stadiums in Northern Ireland is the Safety of Sports Grounds (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.  This legislation is complemented by related Public Order Laws in Part 4 of The Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Advice and Guidance

DCAL has published a guide to safety at sports grounds, entitled "The Northern Ireland Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds" (commonly known as "the Red Guide").  This is available to buy from The Stationery Office Opens new window

On-going advice and guidance on sports grounds safety matters is available from Sport Northern Ireland (SNI) which is responsible for discharging overseeing functions in respect to safety at sports grounds. General advice on overseeing functions and safety related issues can be found on the Sport NI website by clicking here Opens new window. Requests for advice and guidance can be directed to Sport Northern Ireland at e-mail:  Opens new window Tel: 02890 383842. Sport Northern Ireland is also responsible for the distribution of any available funding for safety at sports grounds.

Information Circulars on the Safety of Sports Grounds Order

In accordance with its guidance making powers under Article 13(7) and Article 22(2) of the Safety of Sports Grounds (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, DCAL routinely issues Information Circulars to District Councils in respect to sports grounds safety matters. Links to DCAL circulars and details of related statutory rules affecting safety at sports grounds can be found in the documents below.

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