The number of festivals, fairs, carnivals, and sports events in Croydon is set to rise once a new policy is adopted by the council.
Organisers are being encouraged by the council to stage more events in public spaces with the introduction of an improved set of guidelines scheduled to be introduced this summer.
The new events policy will be adopted in April and promises a clearer and more consistent approach to the way event applications are handled.
There are currently around 100 public events of various types in Croydon annually, and the council would like to see this number grow.
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We’ve been seeing an increasing level of interest from people and organisations looking to stage concerts, festivals, fairs, and other events in Croydon – which is fantastic for the borough. With so many new people moving here and so much money being invested by businesses and developers we have to make sure there are plenty of things going on throughout the year to keep everyone entertained. This new policy will really help make that happen.”
To help organisers get all the right permissions in place, all applications for events in public areas will now go through a single person, with an easy-to-use online form available to simplify the process.
A detailed calendar of booked events will be published and regularly updated to help people plan dates that don’t clash with other nearby activities. The council will also look for ways to help with the marketing of local events to ensure their success.
Those new to putting on public events will also benefit from a set of standard event planning and safety documents that will help them ensure all the necessary things are in place so the day is safe and smoothly run.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said: “We want people to be able to relax and enjoy themselves at public events in Croydon. Our new policy will give the reassurance that organisers, many of whom are dedicated volunteers putting time and effort into helping their local communities, have put everything in place to ensure the safety of everyone on the day. The council’s new approach will mean organisers get real value for money through a comprehensive service offering as much support and advice as the council can provide.”
The new policy ensures charges are in line with other boroughs and includes substantial discounts for community and charity events both in parks and on highways. Although the policy comes into force in April, those who apply before 1 June will be charged at the current rates.
The council’s recent review of parks found that many people wanted to see more entertainment staged, so the council is also considering putting permanent licences in place in those open spaces most likely to be of interest to organisers.