Markets and street trading
Street performances, busking and other activities
We want to make sure street-based activities in our city centre are safe and enjoyable.
Rules about who needs to get authorisation for these activities have been introduced to:
- make sure anyone whose act targets children has passed the basic DBS check and has authorisation from us
- stop items being sold or given in exchange for a donation under the pretence that the money goes to a charity or a back to work initiative when, in reality, little or none of it does
- stop gag mags, rag mags or joke books aimed at people over 18 being offered to children for sale or a donation
Who needs authorisation?
Buskers who meet our busking guidelines can busk legally in the city centre without authorisation.
Acts who target children and anyone who sells items, such as the ones listed below, must seek authorisation from us:
- joke books
- gag mags
- rag mags
If you are unsure if you need to apply for authorisation, please contact us.
How to apply for authorisation
Please apply using the online form below. To complete the application you will need the following:
- your National Insurance number
- a scanned copy or picture of your passport or driving licence
- a scanned copy or picture of your basic DBS certificate
What happens next?
We will approve or reject your application within 21 working days.
If your application is successful, you will get a letter of authorisation. Please carry this letter with you at all times ready to show our officers if they need to see it.
If you fail to get authorisation, or cannot present the letter of authorisation when we ask to see it, we will take action and may issue you with a Fixed Penalty Notice for £80.
Can I ask for money or sell goods?
No. Any money buskers receive must be given voluntarily.
If you offer items such CDs, people are entitled to request one without paying, however you can display a sign asking for a voluntary contribution.
Your sign must be at least A4 in size with black lettering no smaller than 48pt and say, 'CDs available on request - any contribution is voluntary and at your discretion’. No other wording is acceptable.