Pricing Policies

Parks & Open Spaces Events & Activities Pricing and Booking Policy

Approved Date

May 2024

Review Date


Related Legislation

Wildlife NI Order

Related Policies, procedures, guidelines, standards, frameworks etc

Filming and photography policy

Pricing Policy for licensed activities Policy


Events Pricing Policy (for the purposes of parks and open spaces)

Policy Lead


Sponsor Directorate

Operations and Communities



1. Introduction

This policy sets out the framework for pricing structures and procedures for event and activities in Council owned and managed parks and open spaces.

Local groups often make use of parks and open spaces for community events; both large and small.  This policy is designed to ensure all any event making use of a park or open space, managed by the Council is organised in a safe manner, considering other users and ensuring appropriate management and support by Council.

The variety of events held in parks and open spaces varies, from small school picnics to community festivals.  Many different types of events have been considered however given the variety it is not possible to list very potential event.  Therefore, it may be necessary in some cases to refer to a similar type of event. 

2. Purpose and Aims

2.1 The purpose of this policy is to provide an appropriate pricing framework for events/activities held on Council land by third parties, which will ensure sites are accessible and affordable in line with the purpose and remit of the event or activity.

2.2 Aims

  • To establish and review usage of parks and open spaces.
  • To support local groups, organisations and businesses.
  • To encourage positive use of parks and open spaces.
  • To enable the Council to recover some costs associated with facilitation of events/activities where appropriate. 
  • To ensure charges are fair and equitable
  • To support Council’s objective to promote equality of opportunity
  • To support the Council’s social responsibility, to enable flexibility within the policy to enable reduced or no cost when appropriate. 
  • To develop, implement and keep under review specific concessionary rates to promote the achievement of council objectives and strategies and ensure these are applied consistently across the Borough.

2.3 Context

In addition to the overarching principles set out in the corporate pricing Policy framework this policy is reflective of relevant legislation, regional initiatives and strategies and Council strategies specific to events/activities in Parks and Open Spaces across the Borough.

2.4 Sites

This Policy applies to all parks and open spaces managed by the Council with the exception of Carnfunnock Country Park.  Due to the dynamic nature of Carnfunnock Country Park and bookable features, this site’s fees will be reviewed annually alongside seasonal review in preparation of the following year’s pricing plan.

2.5 Scale

Events /Activities are harmonised for the purposes of council procedures and policies as follows:-

Capacity Category Application Fees
5,000+ Major Event (Tier 1) Cost decided on consideration of application
2,000 - 4,999 Large Scale Event (Tier 2) Cost decided on consideration of application
1,000 - 2,000 Medium Scale Event (Tier 3)
Up to 5 hours
£500 + VAT
100 - 1,000 Small Scale Event (Tier 4)
Up to 5 hours
£250 + VAT
Less than 100 Local Event using small section of site with no closures and no facilities £10 per hour
Special Rate Local Community, Charity, Youth or Education No fee

Table 1 – categorisation and fees

This policy refers to tier 3 and 4 events only (max 2,000 people).Event exceeding this scale (or longer events) should be referred on a case-by-case basis at SMT.

3. Site Fees

3.1 Commercial Events/Activities

Application fees are applicable for all commercial events (events that are intended to generate a profit). 

These events generally have an entrance fee attached and are closed to causal public attendance.

3.2 Application fee guidelines

Application fee are based on size and nature of the event.

Guidelines fees are outlined in table 1 however Council reserve the right to review fees on consideration of the nature of the event e.g. if entrance fees are excessive, events are private or the site/any facilities are to be closed to the public. 

3.3 Service Fees – Licenses and bonds

3.3.1 Council will consider applications in a timely manner. 

All applications should be made 4 weeks in advance of any event/activity date.

3.3.2 Applicants are responsible for seeking authorisation and making payments in respect of licensable activities.

3.3.3 Applicants are responsible for obtaining relevant and appropriate insurance.

3.3.4 A refundable deposit of £500 will be payable to the Council for any event/activity where risk of damage is possible.

If any damage occurs to the site, the deposit will be used to re-instate the site.

The applicant is liable for any costs in excess of this deposit.

3.3.5 Council reserve the right to request a higher deposit where risk of damage is significantly higher. 

4. Concessionary Pricing and Exemptions

4.1 Non-commercial Events

Events/activities held solely for the benefit of the local community, charity, youth or education facility will not incur a fee to encourage and support use of local sites by local groups. 

4.2 A refundable deposit may apply depending on the nature of the event.  

4.3 Evidence of the non-commercial nature of the event must be produced at time of application.

4.4 Non-commercial events will not provide significant commercial or advertising benefit opportunities to a profit-making business or organisation.

Applicants must provide evidence that any profit generated are used for the benefit of the charity, organisation or community. 

Where the cost of providing a venue or space that are incurred by Council exceed the fees paid under this policy, or where no fee is applied, Council may apply charges on a cost recovery basis.

5. Equality Screening

This policy has been equality screened with no adverse impact identified therefore an Equality Impact Assessment is not required.