About the event

Brighton & Hove City Council is seeking to licence the operation of a Christmas event for four weeks during 2021, 2022 and 2023 on an area of land throughout the newly developed Valley Gardens.

The license will be granted for a maximum of seven weeks per calendar year. This period should include the build and breakdown of the event.

Suggested dates for 2021

Friday 26 November to Friday 24 December.  

Possible hours of operation

  • 12 noon to 11pm, Monday to Friday
  • 9am to 11pm on Saturdays
  • 11am to 6pm on Sundays

The proposed development for Valley Gardens stage 3 may have an impact on the southern section of the site in 2022 or 2023.

The exact details are not known at the time of issuing this licence, but can be discussed with the council’s contacts prior to application.

Permitted use

The Christmas Market is expected to be a mixture of retail stalls, food and beverage outlets, entertainment and attractions.  

The operator will have full commercial rights to any revenue generated through sales income, sponsorship, advertising, ticket sales and catering including full bar concession.  

The area will need to be open access with control measures in place to manage crowd movement and behaviour.

General admission should be free to attend. 

The hours of operation should not exceed 9am to 11pm each day.

The operator will be expected to apply for and gain their own Premises License to cover the event.  

The site has various utilities throughout, such as power, water and drainage. Please ask if you need full details. 

All aspects of the event should be governed by the Event Safety Guide. 

Licence fee

The three year licence fee shall be paid in three instalments. The first upon signature of the licence and the second and third by the end of September 2022 and 2023 respectively.

The licensee shall indemnify the council against all actions, loss or claims resulting from the use of this land and the operations on it.

The licensee must ensure that they have a suitable Public Liability Insurance for their operations and activities in the sum of £10 million.


With the uncertainty surrounding the effect that Covid-19 will have on the events industry by November 2021, we recognise there may be implications to any proposed event.

For the purposes of this submission, applicants should put forward their full proposals. We understand that these may need to be tailored to conform with whatever government guidelines are in place as the year progresses.

Evaluation criteria

We will evaluate all applications based on the same criteria. These criteria are weighted in portions out of a score of 100%.

Please supply details for the following:

1.    History of the provider:

  • history of the business and organiser
  • experience of other events, Christmas markets and attractions
  • images or videos of events managed in the past
  • professional endorsements 

Evaluation and Assessment criteria weight - 10%.

2.    Operational plans including ground protection measures:

  • Events Management Plan including security (indicative)
  • comprehensive approach to sustainability, reuse and recycling
  • comprehensive plans for ground protection and re-instatement
  • cleansing management plan, including outside event footprint
  • locally relevant food and beverage offer 
  • demonstration of creative programming and place-making
  • communications plan as a regional attraction

Evaluation and Assessment criteria weight - 30%.

3.    Local Economic Impact:

  • opportunity for local trade and employment
  • opportunity for local services, equipment and contractors
  • use of the voluntary sector 

Evaluation and Assessment criteria weight - 30%.

4.    Licence Fee Offer

  • proposed fee, covering the three years of the licence. 

Evaluation and Assessment criteria weight - 30%.

Scoring methodology

Score Basis for award score
5 Meets and exceeds criteria
4 Meets the criteria
3 Meets the criteria in most aspects, fails in some
2 Fails to meet the criteria in most aspects, meets it in some
1 Significantly fails to meet the criteria
0 Completely fails to meet the criteria


When and how to submit your application

To submit your application, send a full written tender submission and a Licence Fee Offer by 5pm on Monday 8 February 2021 to Ian.taylor@brighton-hove.gov.uk Events Manager.

The council reserves the right not to accept the first, highest or indeed any offer received.

The council will not accept any proposal calculated by reference to another bid. For example £1 in excess of the highest licence fee submitted.

The licence may be granted before the end of March 2021.

The preferred operator will be agreed by the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee (TECC). 

Please send any questions to Ian Taylor or Daniel Watson, Events Officer by Monday 25 January 2021.

An indicative draft Licence Agreement will be available to view, on request, from Monday 18 January 2021. 

Full contact details

Ian Taylor, Events Manager

Email: Ian.taylor@brighton-hove.gov.uk 
Phone: 01273 292 711
Mobile phone: 07717 303 344

Daniel Watson, Events Officer

Email: Daniel.watson@brighton-hove.gov.uk
Phone: 01273 293 001
Address: The Brighton Centre, Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2GR.