Non-event commercial activities in parks

Trafford Council have introduced a charging scheme for commercial activity providers who wish to use its parks and greenspaces. This licence is primarily intended for fitness class operators and forest schools.

In recent years outdoor personal fitness classes, boot camps, forest schools and other forms of commercial activity have become increasingly popular in our parks and greenspaces. Whilst acknowledging that these types of activities can be good for the health and wellbeing of residents the Council wants to ensure that activities are appropriate to the site.

This scheme will ensure that residents can easily determine whether an operator has a relevant qualification, has appropriate insurance and has addressed relevant health and safety requirements. Fitness classes, especially larger ones, can also have an impact on the grounds and maintenance of the space and on other users.

As a general rule, the Council does not currently permit use of its venues for commercial activities or events which are not promoted to the general public. 

If your activity is classed as an event, as opposed to a short term or ongoing activity class, different rules apply. Please visit our Corporate and community events page for more information.

The scheme comprises:

  • a one off registration fee per operator
  • an annual administration fee per venue
  • annual licence fees

The registration and administration fees will contribute towards: 

  • Consulting on your application
  • Reviewing your insurance documentation and trainer qualifications
  • The issuing of a permit
  • Updating our web site and noticeboards (where they exist) in the relevant greenspace to include your activity and contact details. (We will only be able to update park noticeboards on a quarterly basis.)

Registration fee  (VAT at the standard rate applies)

A one off Registration fee of £10 net (£12 gross) will apply to all operators who are not currently operating with our permission or who have not operated on a short term basis since April 2016. The Registration will remain valid whilst you continually operate with us or operate on a seasonal or casual basis for at least one quarter in each financial year.

Annual administration fee per venue  (VAT at the standard rate applies)

Administration fee for first venue £25 net (£30 gross)

Administration fee for each additional venue at which you are operating the same activity, £20 net (£24 gross)

If you are a sole trader with no employees not working in conjunction with any other practitioner we can offer you a £5 discount for each venue at which you are operating on your own.

Licence fees (zero rated for VAT)

Adult activity classes

Licence fees are set at £30 per quarter (this is the minimum booking period) or £100 per annum if you pay the full year in advance. The licence fee for adult activity classes is per venue, per session, per trainer and payable in advance or immediately after the four week free trial period for new operators. The maximum class size for adult activities will depend on the activity and the venue.

Free trial periods

New users

If your application is approved, once you have paid your registration and administration fees we will issue you with a free licence for six weeks for up to four different classes which can be at the same or different venues.  If you will be operating the same class across multiple days and/or at different times each class counts as a different class.  As the minimum booking period is 13 weeks, at the end of six weeks we will invoice you for the remaining seven weeks operation for each class.  If you are running more than four classes you will have to pay the full rate for the remaining classes and these will  be invoiced with your registration and administration fees before your commence operation. 

Existing users: annual operation

If you are looking to expand to a new venue, once your application is approved and you have paid the administration fee we will we will issue you with a free licence for one class at one venue for 26 weeks (two quarters).  If you are looking at expanding to more than one venue or run more than one class you can choose to split the licence. For instance you can run two classes for 13 weeks at one venue or run one class at two venues for 13 weeks. Only one licence free period of 26 weeks applies per operator per year. When the free licence expires, unless you advise us in writing that you have ceased operating, we will invoice you for the following quarter or to the end of the financial year depending on how you have asked to be invoiced.

Existing users: Seasonal operation

If you are looking to expand to a new venue and the class you are proposing will only operate seasonally, once your application has been approved and you have paid the required administration fee we will offer you a six week free trial in up to four venues in which you have not previously operated.

Under 18s activity classes

Licence fees are set at £30 per quarter (this is the minimum booking period) or £100 per annum if you pay the full year in advance. The licence fee for children’s activities is per venue, per session with a maximum class size of 30 children.


Local authority schools in Trafford wishing to operate “Forest Schools” will not be charged if classes are led by their own teaching staff.

Friends of Parks

If you are a commercial operator who has an existing on-going relationship with a Friends Group to operate in a park that will be not be affected for the financial year 2017/18 but you must still use the appropriate application form and obtain a licence from us.

Additional information

Terms and conditions will apply – new applicants should not promote their classes until a licence has been granted.

All licences will expire on 31 March each year.

It is intended that quarterly invoices will be issued in April/July/October and January. If your classes commence mid-quarter your first invoice will be pro-rated and you will be invoiced once your application has been approved.

If you wish to purchase an annual licence and commence operation between April and September we will pro rata your annual licence. If you commence operation between October and March you will need to pay for a quarterly licence and apply for an annual licence in March. 


New applications must be received at least four weeks before the intended start period please ensure you read our terms and conditions. If you are already registered with us and no details have changed you can complete a renewal form.

Once your application has been approved the contact details you have provided for the public will be published on our Greenspace activities planner.

If you have any questions please contact the events team on 0161 912 4502 or email us at