Toggle mobile menu visibility

Guidance for completing an application for street trading in Swansea city centre

The following guidance has been prepared to assist applicants to complete the application for street trading consent.

Issued consents have terms which specify the products and/or services to be sold as well as the permitted size/type and appearance of the vehicle/unit being used. These terms have been devised to ensure that street trading is coordinated and well managed in line with the business premises and events and activities taking place in the city centre.

The terms also ensure that each permitted stall is of an appropriate quality, clean, attractive and well maintained; that they add to the city centre offer and are in-keeping with the street scene as well as helping to support the regeneration program, which is a key priority for the council. In this respect, ice-cream and burger vans are not desirable.

Consents can be given for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months. The current charges for street trading are split into 2 tiers which depend upon the location of the pitches and associated footfall. 

Once an application is received, City Centre Management reserves the right to seek the views of various internal departments, external agencies and stakeholders. A consultation period of 28 days is built into the process to allow for consultation with the following groups: 

  • South Wales Police
  • Swansea Council Food Safety team
  • Swansea Council Highways section
  • Swansea Council Trading Standards team
  • Swansea Council Planning section
  • Mid and West Wales Fire Service
  • Swansea Business Improvement District (BID)
  • Castle ward members.

The decision process usually takes 6 weeks from the date of an application being received by City Centre Management. This is dependent on the applicant completing the necessary paperwork and responding to any requests for further information quickly.

City centre street trading fees City centre street trading fees

The person applying for consent must:

  • be 17yrs of age or over to apply or hold a consent
  • complete in full the application form for city centre inner zone
  • provide evidence of current public liability insurance with a minimum cover of £5 million.
  • pay the required fee
  • have an up to date Police National Computer (PNC) check no older than 1 month
  • play a major part in the business
  • have a clear understanding of health and safety as it relates to the business. Please note a fire safety risk assessment will be required to be completed prior to trading commencing.

Renewal applications

Applications to renew your consent must be accompanied by two current colour passport type photographs of the applicant and one recent colour photograph (taken in the last month) of the vehicle or unit used.

Renewal applications will be sent out to traders 60 days before the current consent expires. This allows for 30 days for the application to be completed and for a new PNC to be applied for, then 30 days for the consultation process and issuing of new consent documents.

Guidance for completing a street trading consent application

The following guidance has been prepared to assist applicants to complete the application form for street trading consent. 

Part A - Personal details

Please provide the following information:

  • full name and residential address - the applicant must be living at property presently
  • if there is more than one person involved in the business, only details of the primary applicant should be provided
  • registered (or proposed if starting up) trading name of business and details of how long the business has been trading if this is the case
  • main mobile telephone number and email address of applicant
  • applicants must be over 17 years old so date of birth information is required
  • details of how long applicant has been trading, if this is the case
  • if the applicant has a business address, contact details should be provided
  • submit two recent full face passport type photographs of the applicant (both signed and dated on the reverse).

Part B - Proposed trading details

  • set out the preferred pitch being applied for as per the information found in the current city centre street trading fees table, the images of pitches and the map of the city centre street trading pitches. If more than one pitch is being requested, indicate preferences in rank order of priority
  • the sites are available from Monday to Saturday from 7.00am to 7.00pm, unless otherwise agreed in writing by City Centre Management. Ad hoc trading outside of these hours can be arranged for special events on request. National restrictions apply to Sunday trading, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday
  • information is required as to what products and/or services are being proposed. As this will be a key aspect of the decision making process, the applicant should provide as much information as possible plus images of the products proposed
  • confirmation is sought as to whether the applicant is a registered street trader with another council. If yes, give the council's address, contact person and contact number so that checks can be undertaken.

Part C - Trading vehicle and stall detail

  • all units must be removed daily
  • the length, width and height of the trading unit is required. This is to confirm that the stall is not larger than the space or pitch available, the size of which is 3.5 metres x 2.5 metres. Traders must also restrict their stock and display to within the pitch area. Use of the space surrounding the stall, for example seating may be available, details of which are requested in Part E of the application form
  • the design and appearance of the stall or unit will be critical as to how the application is judged. The council is keen to raise the standards of street trading in the city centre and a comprehensive response will therefore be required. Please provide at least two colour photographs or good design drawings of the vehicle or unit that you intend to trade from. This should include both front and side views. The design and colours of the trading unit need to comply with City Centre Management guidelines, which are stated below under Street trading unit design
  • equally important is understanding how the stall will be looked after to ensure that it continues to be attractive. Provide details of cleaning, maintenance and servicing schedules where known or anticipated
  • if the stall or unit is owned by a third party provide their name, address and contact details
  • details and the registration of the vehicle proposed to tow the street trading unit or stall are also required
  • there is no power available at any of the street trading pitches in the city centre. This means that where power is required the trader will need to make arrangements. The use of super-silent diesel or gas converted generators is accepted providing they are certified as safe and well maintained.

Part D - Additional information and character

  • this section aims to help ascertain the ability of the applicant to professionally run a street trading pitch in the city centre and to meet the terms and conditions of the consent
  • if the applicant is currently a street trader within Swansea details must be given of where your pitch is and how long you have been trading for
  • information regarding the applicant's street trading history is required in terms of whether they have been refused or revoked consent previously, from which local authority and the approximate date this occurred
  • details of the employees who will work at the stall are needed so that identification can be checked and scheme ID badges subsequently issued prior to trading commencing if successful. This must include 2 passport type photographs with confirmation of name and address. Where staffing and recruitment is subject to consent being granted, this should be noted on the application form and such information provided before trading starts. Any subsequent changes to employee details must be reported to City Centre Management
  • it is a standard request of the council to request bank details where a financial commitment is being requested. Confirmation is therefore sought that the applicant holds an active bank account and that this has been the case for a period of time
  • the council will not permit trading unless the consent holder has a current insurance policy against public liability and third party risks. The minimum public liability insurance cover will be £5,000,000 and you must cover the stall or unit and any additional equipment under your control. A copy of your current public liability insurance certificate is required. Trading cannot commence until the policy is produced to the council and cover is confirmed
  • employee liability insurance is the responsibility of the applicant, as is any insurance regarding fixtures, fittings or stock
  • an up to date Police National Computer (PNC) check is required as a standard part of the application process. This provides the council with information that the street trading applicant is of a fit and proper character to run the business. PNC checks must be applied for in sufficient time (it can take up to 40 days to obtain from Disclosure Scotland) to be submitted prior to consent being issued. Whilst convictions or cautions may not prevent consent, the nature and timing of those found may affect the suitability of the applicant.

Part E - Food traders

  • in order to sell food you must be officially registered to do so. Provide the date you were registered and details of which local authority you are registered with
  • if registration has not yet taken place, details of when and how this will be arranged needs to be included
  • if you are preparing food from the pitch you must include all of the extra food hygiene information as requested.

Part F - Business case

  • this section is for the applicant to give their reasons as to why they believe they should be given a street trading pitch in the city centre
  • the council is keen to support new and existing businesses
  • preference will be given to those who propose to sell goods or offer services that are unique in some way or currently unrepresented in the city centre. Consideration will also be given to the types of permanent shops and businesses within the immediate area of the pitch being applied for to avoid duplicating the established offer
  • plans to brand, market and promote the stall will also be looked positively on as well as evidence of the applicant's track record in making successful business decisions.

Part G - Payment of deposit and fees

  • an online payment for the fee for consent should be made when the online application is submitted. Card payments are also accepted at the Contact Centre in the Civic Centre. Receipts will be provided and should be kept safe. Cheque or cash payments can be made if needed also at the Contact Centre in the Civic Centre. Cheques must be made payable to Swansea Council
  • the fee can either be paid in full for the total period applied for or a deposit given for the first full month of trading. See the current street trading fees table for the fees and charges
  • card payment/ cheques will be banked at the time of the application being submitted. This does not mean that the application is approved and in the event that the application is subsequently declined a full refund will be given. On approval, any fees/ deposits already previously paid will be used toward the initial fees
  • any payments by cheque will need to be cleared before trading commences. Returned cheques may incur charges and also affect the status of your application or consent
  • subject to consent being granted, if not already paid, the fee for the term agreed will either need to be made in full in advance of the start of trading or alternatively it may be split into monthly direct debit payments. Please indicate on the application form the preferred method and complete the  Direct Debit mandate for street trading fees (Word doc) [41KB] if this option is required.

Part H - Declaration

  • the applicant is signing to say that they have provided true answers and agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the street trading consent if approved
  • please go through and tick the checklist to confirm you are submitting the additional information needed as part of your application
  • a consent certificate will be issued when your application is authorised, the required fee has been cleared and the council is satisfied that all requirements of the application process have been met
  • identification will also be prepared and issued in advance of trading and this shall be worn by traders and staff at all times on-site
  • no trade will be permitted until written consent has been issued. All traders must display a current consent certificate on their stalls at all times which must be visible to the public.

Additional information and terms and conditions

General information 

  • the council has agreed to limit the number of food traders allowed to operate as part of the consent scheme. This is to ensure the scheme continues to allow a variety of goods to be sold in the consent area
  • when granting consent, the council may attach such conditions they consider reasonably necessary to prevent obstruction of the street, danger to persons using it, or detriment to nearby businesses. Failure to comply could result in prosecution and/or the consent being revoked
  • a consent may be granted for any period upwards from 3 months and not exceeding 12 months, but can be revoked for any time
  • where the council refuses an application the applicant will be informed in writing of the reasons for not granting the application. The decision of the council is final. The street trading policy does not allow legal appeals in relation to the issue of a street trading consent. Complaints received will be dealt in line with the council's corporate complaints procedure.

Food traders

  • the applicant's food business must be registered under food safety legislation and be compliant with the relevant legislation
  • if the applicant is prohibited from running a food business their application will not be considered
  • there are specific requirements relating to the preparation and sale of food that must be observed
  • the legal requirement to register is found in Article 6(2) of Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs
  • you must register your food business with the local authority in whose area the vehicle is stored overnight when not in use
  • the applicant and their staff will need to have received basic food hygiene training and certificates must be available for inspection at any time
  • in order to avoid cooking smells and dispersal into adjacent premises, for those vendors cooking on-site, extraction as well as installing wind shields will be required
  • for further advice and information regarding the requirements and process of preparing and selling food and relevant trading standards, please contact Food Safety and Trading Standards on 01792 635600.

Site allocation

If more than one application is received for the same pitch, the following additional criteria will be applied:

  • preference may be given to an applicant for a named site where the applicant can show that they have traded from the same location for the longest period of time
  • preference for a particular site may be given to an applicant who has demonstrated that their street trading unit fits in most favourably within the city centre's street scene, surrounding businesses and/or that they have something unique or different to sell
  • the council may restrict the sale of goods by street traders to types which are not in direct competition with shops, sales outlets or other street traders in that immediate vicinity
  • additional seasonal pitches may be available for certain types of goods at the discretion of City Centre Management.

Street trading pitch

  • planning consent for each pitch will be held by the council via City Centre Management
  • the scale and design of the stall must be approved by City Centre Management
  • the size of each pitch will be 3.5 metres by 2.5 metres. Under no circumstances will vehicle/ unit be larger than this. Awnings, gazebos or any additions to the vehicle or unit must remain within the boundary of the pitch and be permitted as part of the original application process
  • use of seating outside the boundary of the designated pitch maybe considered in line with the council's street cafe licensing scheme which is subject to separate criteria the process for which can be facilitated by City Centre Management.

Street trading unit design

  • materials and colours used should be sympathetic to the area and street scene in which the street trading pitch is set and designed to harmonise with its surroundings
  • no fluorescent colours or plain white will be accepted. Preferred bas unit colours are dark eg racing green, navy blue or burgundy
  • sign-writing and branding will be professionally designed and installed and look appealing
  • vehicles should be designed so not to have a dominant or overbearing appearance in terms of size, bulk and scale
  • tow bars, generators and other external elements should be covered
  • before trading for the first time an authorised officer of the council will inspect the vehicle or unit to ensure it meets with the terms of the submitted application
  • in the event of the consent holder intending to change their vehicle or mode of selling, details should be supplied in advance to City Centre Management who will review the proposal and advise on suitability
  • routine or daily on-site checks will be carried out by the City Centre Rangers to ensure compliance with the terms of the approved application and to ensure public safety
  • street trading consent is for the trading unit only and does not include additional items such as 'A' boards or street cafe furniture, etc. In some cases it may be possible to apply for additional licenses for these items and requests should be directed to City Centre Management
  • the street trading fee does not include any provision for cleaning. It is the responsibility of the street trader to keep the site and the surrounding area clean and tidy during the hours of trading and to remove all refuse at the end of each trading day. If there is evidence the area is not being kept tidy, the applicant will be subject to disciplinary and/or financial action. Public litter bins must not be used for trade waste and commercial waste removal must be arranged with an appropriate provider
  • there is no power available on site. Small super silent diesel or LGV converted generators may be allowed by agreement or alternatively inbuilt battery operated systems are accepted. Safety certification and maintenance will be key to the use of this apparatus as well as measures to prevent access by the public. Any spills or damage caused as a result of this equipment will be dealt with at the traders cost
  • food traders must take action to minimise cooking smells wherever possible. The use of over-hood extractors and wind shields are a standard requirement where cooking is undertaken on-site
  • ice-cream and burger-vans are not suitable for use in the City Centre; applications for such will be declined at the outset.


  • all existing vendors will be offered priority until their existing consent is surrendered, revoked or rendered void due to non-payment of fees
  • motorised vehicles servicing pitches will not be allowed into the city centre pedestrian areas during restricted times
  • the operator of the pitch will be responsible for the set up, removal and storage of their street trading unit overnight.

Consent fees

  • the fee for each pitch includes both the consent and pitch rental fee
  • fees are payable in advance. The options for paying are either to pay them in full at the start of the trading period or monthly by  Direct Debit mandate for street trading fees (Word doc) [41KB]
  • applications must be submitted with the application fee (in cash, card payment or cheque) either in full for the term being applied for or to cover the first month of trading. Details of these are set out in the fees and charges table

Failure to make payments

If the consent holder fails to pay any moneys owed to the council within the time periods set out within the documentation, the council has the right to terminate or curtail the consent period with immediate effect and to pursue the consent holder for the sums owing through legal means.

Trading period

  • the street trading consent is for every week of the calendar year and it is expected that the trader will operate every week for the duration of their consent period. If the trader is absent for more than two weeks without notice their commitment to trade will be questioned and may be terminated
  • bank holidays are treated the same as any other day. Trading will not however be expected on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday and no refund will be provided for these days.

Giving notice

  • traders must complete their minimum 3 months consent, after which traders can either give a written 1 month notice of surrender to the council or run the course of their remaining trading period
  • in the event of there being another trader who is able to take occupation of the pitch during the 1 month notice period, on the basis of the appropriate consent being in place, then arrangements may be made for the early surrender of the pitch.

Health and safety

  • all traders are responsible for keeping themselves informed about and complying with all relevant current health and safety legislation relevant to their trade, including disabled access criteria
  • food traders using gas cylinders for cooking must be vigilant in the use and maintenance of their equipment and be mindful of public safety at all times
  • fire safety risk assessment must be completed by the stall holder prior to commencement of trading
  • generators where they are permitted must be well maintained, diesel or converted to LGV and very quiet
  • all vehicles, eg towing and delivery vehicles, must be removed daily before 10.30am and not return until after 4.00pm
  • where vehicles are required to access pitches, for example during set-up and derig, the use of hazard warning lights and a speed limit of 5mph will be observed
  • during extreme weather conditions when it would not be advised to travel or trade, it must be agreed with City Centre Management on the morning of the day in question that an official 'Bad weather day' has been declared and traders will not be charged for the day. The decision of City Centre Management will be final.

Additional information

  • in relation to the Christmas Market or other organised events including other markets and parades, some of the pitches may be affected. Such pitches will be incorporated into the event or an alternative location offered for the duration of the event
  • the vendor shall have the option of either choice, subject to any additional rental costs of being involved in the event being met by the vendor and subject to the landowners (usually the council) terms, conditions and permission.

Freedom of Information

Swansea Council is committed to complying with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) which applies to all recorded information that it holds or is held on its behalf. Information that is provided to or held by the council will be processed and disclosed strictly in accordance with the FOIA, the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 or other appropriate legislation.