Events in Parliament Buildings and its Grounds Policy (2019)

Download the Events Policy (updated 2019) (PDF, 29 pages, 429KB)

Events in Parliament Buildings and its Grounds Policy (2019 v2.0)
Northern Ireland Assembly
Events Office
Parliament Buildings, Belfast BT4 3XX
Telephone: (028) 90520381

Introduction

This policy review, once approved, will supersede previous policies issued in: 1999 (Tours); Notes for Guidance 2001 (Functions), the Interim Criteria for Events at Parliament Buildings issued in March 2008, and the Events in Parliament Buildings and its Grounds Policy (2014).

This revised policy takes account of developments and trends over the intervening periods and therefore, better reflects the business needs of Members, the Commission and the Commission’s decision to allow for Parliament Buildings to be available for hire, at designated times, as a corporate event or wedding reception venue. Furthermore, this policy regulation brings together all event related policies into a single reference document for improved understanding.

For the purpose of these regulations the word “event” means function and/or tours requiring hospitality. Tours refers to tour bookings only. Corporate Events and Wedding receptions (CEWR thereafter) refer to events booked under the Revenue Generation plan business model.

Changes to this policy will be published in an All Party Notice and communicated widely within the Assembly.

1. Events, Tours & CEWR Booking, Planning & Management Process

1.1. Eligibility for booking events and tours

1.1.1. The following people can sponsor tours and events at Parliament Buildings.

    • Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly
    • The Speaker
    • Clerk/Chief Executive
    • Directors of the Assembly

1.1.2. The word sponsor in these regulations refers to all of those listed at 1.1.1 and the Assembly Commission in relation to all CEWR.

1.1.3. Requests to sponsor an event by the following officials will need to be considered on an ad-hoc basis by the Commission:

    • Comptroller and Auditor General
    • Assembly Ombudsman
    • Attorney General

1.2. Booking a function and tour with hospitality

1.2.1. All events and tours with hospitality must be sponsored by at least three Members to reflect cross designation support* approved by the Assembly Commission.

* For these purposes, “cross designation support” means that one of the three sponsoring Members must be designated as “nationalist” and one must be designated as “unionist”; the sponsoring Member is encouraged to also seek the sponsorship of a Member designated as “other”.

1.2.2. Exemption from seeking cross-designation support will apply in the case of certain bookings directly related to official Assembly business. These include official events booked by:

  • Individuals other than Members as detailed in point 1.1.1.
  • a Member providing hospitality in his/her private or party office.

1.2.3. This rule applies to all events held in the public spaces within Parliament Buildings, including:

    • Long Gallery
    • Members’ Dining Room
    • Room 115
    • Visitors’ Restaurant
    • Private Dining Room (Fine dining only)
    • Members’ Bar (After 7pm on non-sitting days & tours only)
    • Apron and Front Lawns (Functions only)
    • Senate Chamber (Restricted booking due to Assembly Business)
    • Great Hall (Restricted booking due to Assembly Business)

1.2.4. The Assembly Chamber is not a bookable events space. The Assembly Chamber will not be considered for events organised by external organisations or by Members.

1.2.5. The Events Office can advise on capacities and layout options for each area and details can be found in Annex A.

1.2.6. Members and event organisers must not exceed the recommended number of guests based on the capacity for their event and must follow guidance and protocols around evacuation procedures.

1.2.7. Delivery of events at Parliament Buildings may be considered as a four step process;

  1. CHECK AVAILABILITY with the Events Office by telephone or email.
  2. CONFIRM BOOKING: A provisional booking will lapse unless the confirmation form (which demonstrates cross designation support) is received from the host Member within 21 days from the date of the provisional booking.
  3. APPROVAL: Each week all new applications are checked
  4. by Events officials to ensure compliance with the Commission’s policy. Members may assume approval unless notified otherwise. Occasionally some requests, e.g. bookings bearing a potentially sensitive or controversial aspect, may require approval by a Director and/or the Commission.
  5. PRE-PLANNING: For the majority of event bookings the Events Office, on the Member’s behalf, will invite the organisation concerned to a pre-planning meeting.

The meeting may discuss:

    • Timings
    • running orders
    • policies & protocols
    • health and safety
    • catering
    • invitations
    • deposit and cancellation agreement

A written record of the agreed event plan will be provided to the primary signatory and the event organiser.

The event organiser will also be expected to sign up to the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of using Parliament Buildings. ‘Terms and Conditions’ can be found at Annex B.

  iv. THE EVENT PROPER: No function may begin without the presence of the Primary
          Signatory Sponsor or a Member representing him/her. The Primary Signatory Sponsor or a
          nominated person will remain responsible for the function at all times.

A member of the events team will be available for the duration of the function or tour with hospitality.

1.3. Booking a tour without hospitality

1.3.1.  A tour without hospitality can be sponsored by an individual Member and does not require cross designation support.

1.3.2. Delivery of tours at Parliament Buildings may be done following the below procedure:

  1. After checking availability with the Events Office, Party Staff or a Member can confirm the booking by telephoning the Events Office, by sending an email.
  2. An electronic sponsorship form will be issued to the Sponsor containing details of:
    • name of organisation
    • date and time
    • number of guests
    • contact details
    • whether a guide is required

iii. A provisional booking will lapse unless the electronic sponsorship form is completed by the Member, twenty one days from the date of the provisional booking.

iv. The Events Office must be informed of any changes or additions in advance of the event.

v. All tours are subject to the same approval process as outlined above in 1.2.7.

1.4. Event and tour booking forms

1.4.1. The electronic sponsorship form will be sent to the Member from the Events Office.

1.4.2. Members must not accept any fee for any booking of which they are hosting and must make a declaration to this effect on the electronic sponsorship form.

1.5. Booking a corporate event/wedding reception and ceremony (CEWR)

CEWR do not require a sponsor as they fall under the Assembly Commission’s Revenue Generation Plan approved in November 2015.

1.5.1 This section applies to all events held in the public spaces within Parliament Buildings in line with the Revenue Generation plan, including:

    • Long Gallery
    • Members’ Dining Room
    • Room 115
    • Private Dining Room
    • Members’ Bar
    • Apron and Front Lawns
    • Senate Chamber
    • Great Hall

1.5.2 The Assembly Chamber is not a bookable events space. The Assembly Chamber will not be considered for events organised by external organisations or by Members.

1.5.3 The Events Office can advise on capacities and layout options for each area and details can be found in Annex A.

1.5.4 Event organisers must not exceed the recommended number of guests based on the capacity for their event and must follow guidance and protocols around evacuation procedures.

1.5.5 Delivery of events at Parliament Buildings may be considered as a 5 steps process

i. CHECK AVAILABILITY with the Events Office.

ii. CONFIRM BOOKING: A provisional booking will lapse unless confirmation is received in line with the Assembly’s T&Cs and the Assembly’s Support Services provider own T&Cs

iii. APPROVAL: CEWR events will be approved by the Events Office in line with the Assembly’s Revenue Generation Plan underpinned by 2 applicable principles:

a) Parliament Buildings is a working institution and revenue generation must not impede Members in carrying out their duties
b) Preserving the dignity of the building

However, bookings bearing a potentially sensitive or controversial aspect, may require approval by a Director and/or the Commission.

iv. PRE-PLANNING: As needed with the event organiser, The meeting may discuss:

    • Timings
    • running orders
    • policies & protocols
    • health and safety
    • catering
    • T&Cs

A written record of the agreed event plan will be provided to the event organiser.

The event organiser will also be expected to sign up to the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of using Parliament Buildings for a CEWR. ‘Terms and Conditions’ can be found at Annex B.

v. THE EVENT PROPER: The event organiser or nominated person will remain responsible
for their guests for the duration of the event.

A member of the events team will be available for the duration of the CEWR.

 

2. REGULATIONS FOR TOURS AND EVENTS

2.1. Tour Accessibility

2.1.1. Those on tours who require assistance due to hearing or sight impairments may request a braille tour script, ‘Hearing Helpers’ or that a sign language interpreter attends. It is important that the Events Office is notified well in advance of the event. Tours are also appropriate for guests with limited mobility.

2.1.2. The Events Office complies with Health & Safety at Work Policy Statement and is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 when taking bookings in relation to disability access.

2.2. Restrictions on bookings

2.2.1. Bookings may be made for events and tours Monday to Saturday, except Good Friday, Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday; and Public Holidays unless agreed by the Speaker. Corporate Events are only available for booking during Assembly recesses and period of dissolution. Wedding Receptions and Ceremony bookings will only be available on Saturdays.

2.2.2. 10 working days notification must be provided for an evening or weekend event, tour or CEWR taking place within Parliament Buildings or its grounds.

2.2.3. Sunday Events will be by strict exception only and require the express approval of the Assembly Commission or the Speaker on behalf of the Commission. A case explaining why the event cannot happen on another day is required from the Primary Signatory Sponsor. The full cost of Sunday events incurred by the Assembly (Security, Lighting, Heating, Guides etc.) will be charged to the event organiser or the sponsoring Member.

2.2.4. The Assembly Commission or the Speaker on behalf of the Commission may determine exemptions or additional conditions on any application. Bookings are accepted only on this basis.

2.3. End Times

2.3.1. All guests must leave the premises by the time agreed between the event organiser and the Events Office.

2.3.2. In most cases Parliament Buildings should be vacated by midnight. If a Member wishes to request an extension beyond midnight from the Events Office, this may be arranged on a full cost recovery basis: the full cost beyond midnight incurred by the Assembly (Security, Lighting, Heating, Events Team etc.) will be charged to the event organiser or the sponsoring Member.

2.4. Tour Availability

2.4.1. Members can book tours from 10:00 to 19:00, Monday to Friday and between 11.00 and 16.00 on a Saturday, unless in conjunction with an evening function.

2.4.2. Public tours during session: Public tours are available for casual visitors each weekday at 11:00 and 14:00 when the Assembly is in session. Booking is not required.

2.4.3. Public tours during Summer, Easter and Halloween Recess: Public Tours are available each weekday on the hour from 11:00 to 15:00. Booking is not required.

2.5. Non-Guided Tours

2.5.1. Parties personally escorted by a Member should be notified to the Events Office.

2.5.2. Staff who are in possession of a full photo-identity pass may, subject to the restrictions set out in these regulations, conduct parties of personal friends not exceeding 6 in number. Staff must accompany their parties at all times. Staff should notify the Events Office of the date and time they wish to host the tour.

2.6. Translation

2.6.1. It is the responsibility of the Primary Signatory Sponsor or the group that are being hosted to provide a translator for any tour and function booked by a Member.

2.6.2. The Events Office should be notified at time of booking or as soon as possible after the booking that a translator will be accompanying any tours so that additional time may be factored into their tour.

2.7. Line of route

2.7.1. The official line of route for tours is listed below. Availability of some areas listed will depend on official Assembly business.

    • The Great Hall
    • Senate Rotunda
    • Senate Chamber
    • Assembly Rotunda
    • Assembly Chamber
    • Public Gallery (Plenary days only)

2.7.2. No parties attending a tour, guided or otherwise, may deviate from the Line of Route.

2.7.3. Unauthorised music, singing and the consumption or foodstuffs is not permitted along the Line of Route.

2.7.4. Guests and Members are not permitted to venture beyond the rope cordon in the Assembly and Senate Chambers.

2.8. Group Sizes

2.8.1. The maximum tour group size is 50 and there is no minimum.

2.9. Catering and Access to Restaurant Facilities

2.9.1. A maximum of 6 visitors may use the Blue Flax restaurant between the hours of 12:00 and 14:00 and should be escorted by a Member or their staff.

2.9.2. For groups between 6 and 40 visitors, the Visitors' Restaurant (Room B25) may be used. The Visitors’ Restaurant must be booked at least 48 hours in advance with the Events Office and the booking of this room is considered the same as any other function room i.e. requires cross designation support.

2.9.3.Members hosting tour groups and entertaining visitors are reminded of their responsibility to ensure guests using the basement facilities do so under the direct supervision of a full pass holder. The Events Office and Ushers are not available for this purpose.

2.9.4. The catering contractor will contact the organiser regarding catering options. Once the requirements have been agreed, the contractor will issue written confirmation by email.

2.9.5. A minimum of 2 hours must be allowed between events to allow for turn around.

2.10. Invitations (except CEWR)

2.10.1. All invitations should follow the recommended layout (Annex D) and should be in the name of the primary signatory.

2.10.2. All invitations must be approved by the Events Office before they are issued.

2.10.3. All guests are required to bring an invitation to present to security and reception personnel. Those arriving without an invitation will not gain entry unless vouched for by the host Member or the event organiser.

2.11. Commercialism

2.11.1. The use of Parliament Buildings for direct commercial purposes is not permitted. However, in terms of corporate events as defined within this policy event organisers may, subject to prior approval by the Events Office, be permitted the display of commercial branding at the event. A list of all proposed displays (description and image) must be provided by the event organiser to the Events Office prior to the Event for approval.

2.11.2. The use of commercial pop-ups/stands/backboards/displays to advertise a product or service is not permitted. Some pop up stands may be used for events in the building and should be for directional purposes only. This will be discussed at the pre-planning meeting. All proofs of pop up stands and information stalls should be forwarded to the Events Office in advance of the function for approval.

2.11.3. The use of political or party pop-ups/stands/backboards/displays is not permitted in any of the public or ‘communal’ areas of Parliament Buildings, including the Great Hall.

2.11.4. Parliament Buildings may not be used for the routine business of non- Assembly organisations (except during period of recess and dissolution in line with the Commission’s Revenue Generation Plan) – e.g. AGMs, training, workshops, board meetings, etc. or as a location for the activities of external training organisations.

2.11.5. Non-commercial events e.g. charitable events, with financial support from a commercial entity may, subject to prior approval by the Events Office, be permitted the display of subtle commercial branding at the event.

2.12. Fundraising

2.12.1. Only Events organised in aid of a registered charity or the Assembly’s nominated charity are permitted to fundraise within Parliament Buildings

2.12.2. Organisers may only charge guests to attend events on a cost recovery basis, excluding charity fundraisers. Organisers cannot profit from using function rooms in Parliament Buildings.

2.12.3. Tickets for events must be sold prior to events.

2.12.4. Members must not be charged to attend events.

2.13. Access to Parliament Buildings (except CEWR)

2.13.1. Car parking space is only available in the Visitors’ Car Park. By prior arrangement with the Events Office disabled guests may park, be set down or collected in the Upper East or West Car Parks.

2.13.2. Those arriving for events and tours must enter via the East Glen Search Unit, where they will be directed to the security scanner for search by ushering personnel. Guests will then enter Parliament Buildings via the front entrance, register at reception and be issued with the appropriate pass.

2.13.3. Members who are organising parties which include disabled visitors are asked to contact the Events Office in advance so that arrangements can be made for parking, evacuation procedures, access to the building and Line of Route.

2.13.4. All guests should use the Massey Avenue entrance after 6pm and at weekends.

Under no circumstances, will vehicles be permitted to remain overnight in the upper car park and drivers are responsible to ensure they are removed accordingly. Those not removed at the conclusion of the event will be relocated to the Lower East Car Park by Assembly Management. The relocation and all related costs will be invoiced to the event organiser.

2.13.5. For security purposes a list in alphabetical order of all persons requiring access to the event must be forwarded to the Events Office not later than three working days prior to the function.

2.13.6. Guests with special access needs should be identified on the list along with their vehicle details and time of arrival so closer access to the building can be arranged.

2.13.7. A template showing how the access list should be laid out is at Annex D can be obtained from the Events Office in electronic or hard copy formats. All records of guests’ details will be destroyed following the event to comply with the Commission’s data protection policy.

2.13.8. Access to the balcony of Parliament Buildings is not permitted, unless prior approval has been received.

2.14. Access to Parliament Buildings for CEWR

2.14.1 Car parking is only available in the Lower East Visitor’s Car Park. However, a limited number of car parking spaces are available in the Upper East Car Park. Use of these spaces can be requested by the CEWR organiser prior to the event. A full list of vehicle and occupants details must be provided at least 48 hours prior to the event’s date. Assembly management reserves the right to carry out security checks/inspections of all vehicles entering the Upper Car Park. All other guests attending CEWR events will be required to park in the Lower East Visitors Car Park.

Under no circumstances, will vehicles be permitted to remain overnight in the upper car park and drivers are responsible to ensure they are removed accordingly. Those not removed at the conclusion of the event will be relocated to the Lower East Car Park by Assembly Management. The relocation and all related costs will be invoiced to the CEWR Organiser.

2.14.2  All guests attending CEWR events will be subject to a search by Usher Services staff. The location of the search will depend on the time and day the access is required and/or on specific arrangements made prior to the events. The search will take place at either the search facility or at the front entrance. In all instances, guests will enter Parliament Buildings via the front entrance & register at reception.

2.14.4 Organisers of CEWR events which include disabled visitors are asked to contact the Events Office in advance so that arrangements can be made for parking, evacuation procedures, access to the building and Line of Route.

2.14.5 All guests should use the Massey Avenue entrance after 6pm and at weekends unless alternative arrangements have been agreed with Estate Management.

2.14.6  For security purposes, a list in alphabetical order of all persons requiring access to the event must be forwarded to the Events Office not later than three working days prior to the function.

2.14.7 Guests with special access needs should be identified on the list along with their vehicle details and time of arrival so closer access to the building can be arranged.

2.14.8 Access to the balcony of Parliament Buildings is not permitted, unless prior approval has been received.

2.14.9 A template showing how the access list should be laid out is at Annex D can be obtained from the Events Office in electronic or hard copy formats.

2.14.10 All security arrangement relating to the admission of persons to Parliament Buildings and vehicles to the upper East car park will be subject to ongoing review which will take into consideration the prevailing security situation and any other matters deemed appropriate.

All records of guests’ details will be destroyed following the event to comply with the Commission’s data protection policy.

2.15. Health & Safety

2.15.1 The Assembly Commission complies with the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations (NI) 2000, The Health & Safety at Work Policy Statement produced by the Assembly Commission and all other relevant legislation and codes of practice.

2.15.2 Guest and visitors must comply with any instruction or direction given by Ushers and Events Staff.

2.16. Flags, Emblems, Music and Uniforms at Events

2.16.1 The proposed use of flags, emblems, uniforms, regalia, images or certain other items including music deemed politically sensitive during events at Parliament Buildings requires careful consideration.

2.16.2 The Primary Signatory will be responsible to ensure the Events Office plus their co-signatories receive adequate advance notice if their booking involves any item that could be perceived as potentially sensitive or controversial.

2.16.3 In addressing issues concerning the wearing of uniforms at events the Assembly Commission has established the guidance provided at Annex E.

2.17. Visitor Behaviour

2.17.1 All Visitors and guests must adhere to the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Conduct & Behaviour of Visitors Policy which can be accessed on our website.

2.18. Complaints

2.18.1 Complaints arising from events related business including the behaviour of guests should be reported to the Head of Public Engagement on (028) 9052 1135.

2.19. Election periods

2.19.1 Without exception candidates standing for election who are acting in a private capacity may not hold events during a defined election period, normally 26 days prior to and 8 days after the date1 of the poll for an election. Candidates may however, in anticipation of being re-elected, make bookings for dates beyond the defined period. Candidates failing to be returned must inform the group/organisation being hosted to seek sponsorship from a Member of the newly elected Assembly.

2.19.2 Official events sponsored by Members clearly acting in an official capacity e.g. The Speaker, Ministers, etc. may take place during the defined election period.

2.20. Filming/Photography

2.20.1 During tours photography is permitted along the line of route, excluding the corridors.

2.20.2 At events held in booked function rooms within Parliament Buildings, filming and photography is permitted in agreement with the Primary Signatory. Signs indicating that the event is being filmed are required to be on display. It is the organiser’s responsibility to ensure all necessary consent forms are gathered in advance of the event.

2.20.3 Apart from officially sponsored functions or tours, filming and photography in the Great Hall, front steps or the Apron of Parliament Buildings require approval by the Head of Communications and Head of Usher Services.

2.21. Weddings and Wedding photography

2.21.1 Parliament Buildings is available for wedding receptions and ceremonies.

2.21.2 Wedding receptions and ceremonies may be held at Parliament Buildings subject to restrictions and in line with the Commission’s Revenue Generation Plan. Applications can be made through the Events Office.

2.21.3 Receptions are limited to Saturdays and are charged on a full cost recovery basis in line with the Assembly’s T&Cs (The full cost of the reception incurred by the Assembly: Security, Lighting, Heating, Events Team etc. will be charged to the event organiser).

2.21.4  Wedding photography within Parliament Buildings is limited to Saturdays and is available on a full cost recovery basis. Wedding photography can be taken on the Stormont Estate if agreed with the Estate Management in advance.

2.22. Exhibitions

2.22.1 Members may sponsor exhibitions for display in the Long Gallery..

2.22.1 Static exhibitions may remain in place for a maximum of two weeks.

2.22.2  Before final approval is granted all exhibition content will be reviewed by the Events Office against the Assembly Commission’s policy on exhibitions.

2.22.3 In addition to Member sponsored exhibitions, the Speaker may sponsor Public Exhibitions agreed by the Assembly Commission. These will normally be displayed in the Great Hall or the Long Gallery.

 

3. CHARGING AND CANCELLATIONS

3.1. Charging

3.1.1 Tours are free of charge.

3.1.2  Costs are incurred through hospitality, additional seat hire or AV requirements for events. A decision on who is responsible will be agreed and recorded at pre planning meetings. Costs must be met by the organisation being hosted or by default the Primary Signatory.

3.1.3 Wedding receptions and ceremonies, Sunday events and those agreed for extension                beyond midnight will be charged on a full cost recovery basis including all staff costs.

3.1.4  Corporate Events will be charged a set venue hire fee for events held during Assembly recesses and period of dissolution up to 10.30pm. Beyond 10:30pm (to be agreed prior to the event taking place) event organisers will be charged on a full cost recovery basis.

3.2. Cancellation by the Events Office

3.2.1 Bookings may be cancelled at any time by the Events Office due to Assembly business. Cancellations will be confirmed in writing.

3.3. Cancellation by a Member or their Host Organisation.

3.3.1 Cancellations for events or tours without hospitality must be notified immediately to the Events Office, giving at least 3 days’ notice and confirmed in writing.

3.3.2 Cancellation of events or tours with hospitality will result in penalties detailed in the Assembly’s catering provider’s Terms and Conditions document. Where hospitality has been arranged written confirmation of the cancellation is required.

3.3.3 All parties are subject to the cancellation policy including registered charities, Government Departments and internal bookings

Annex A

Room Capacities and Layout

ROOM CAPACITIES FOR PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS

ROOMTHEATRE STYLESTANDING**DINNER**

LONG GALLERY

100

160

120

MEMBERS DINING ROOM

50

80

40

ROOM 115

40

50

40

MDR & 115

80

120

80

GREAT HALL

200 (w/out stage)*

300

N/A

PRIVATE DINING ROOM

N/A

N/A

16

SENATE CHAMBER

90 as the room sits

120 with extra chairs

N/A

N/A

* If a stage is being used the numbers will have to be determined based on the size of the stage and any other considerations.

** These numbers would be subject to change depending on the type of event and the people who would be attending.

Annex B

Terms and Conditions

Whole agreement:

These terms and conditions together with the written record of the agreed event plan and the booking confirmation constitute the whole agreement between the organiser and the Commission.

Definitions

Assembly Commission: The corporate body for the Northern Ireland Assembly is known as the Assembly Commission. The Commission is responsible for ensuring the property, staff and services are provided for the Assembly. The Commission’s purpose and that of its Secretariat is to serve and support the Assembly in its role of representing the interests of the electorate; making effective legislation and influencing the executive and holding it to account.

Parliament Buildings: The Assembly Commission is accommodated in Parliament Buildings. This is an historical and high profile building which is located within the Stormont Estate on the outskirts of Belfast. Parliament Buildings provides some 29,400 square metres of accommodation for Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) their support staff, political parties and their support staff, Ministerial support staff, the media, various service providers and the Assembly secretariat.

Members: Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA)

Grounds: Defined as Parliament Buildings and its curtilage

1. Use of Facilities:

1.1  Parliament Buildings is the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA). As it is a working building all tours and functions are dependent on Assembly Business. This may occasionally mean that tours/functions will be cancelled at short notice and more regularly, that set up time or access to the building in relation to an event may be halted/prevented.

1.2 The Commission is the body corporate which provides the Assembly, or ensures that the Assembly is provided with the property, staff and services required for the Assembly’s purposes. The Assembly Commission permits the organiser to have use of the facilities for the purpose of the event as agreed in advance with the Events Office.

1.3 All tours/functions held must respect the dignity of Parliament Buildings. If the Events Office, in conjunction with Ushering Service, reasonably considers that there is a breach or anticipated breach of any of the Event Regulations, he/she shall have power at his/her discretion to halt any further performance of the relevant event until such time as the breach is remedied to his/her complete satisfaction.

1.4 The Building/Grounds can only be used between the starting and finishing times as indicated as agreed with the Events Office and recorded on the pre-planning note. The maximum setting-up period must be included within these times and the Events Office must be made of aware of this at time of booking. Permission must be sought, as soon as possible, to alter any these timings.

1.5 Members of the public have an implied permission to enter Parliament Buildings when the Assembly is sitting by virtue of paragraph 2 of Schedule 6 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. This permission can only be removed if the implied permission to enter is either revoked by the Commission or a person acting on an appropriate delegation from the Commission i.e. an authorised person under the Public Order (NI) Order 1987.

The Assembly Commission will exercise its common law right to revoke permission to be in the building or exercise its power under Article 23

(1)  (b) of the Public Order (NI) Order 1987 to require person/s to leave the building.

1.6 The provision of all catering must be done through the Assembly Commission’s in house company.

2. Booking Procedure for Corporate Events & Wedding Receptions

2.1 Wedding Reception

2.2  No booking will be confirmed unless within 21 days of receipt of a booking request

2.2.1 The Assembly Commission has received a copy of these Terms & Conditions signed by the organiser; and

2.2.2 A £1,000 non-refundable deposit has been paid to the Commission’s catering provider (which will be deducted from towards the total cost of catering).

2.3 The catering provider’s own set of Terms & Conditions applies to the balance of the catering costs.

2.4 The Venue Hire/Facility Fee as invoiced is to be paid in full 4 weeks prior to the reception.

2.5 In the event of non-payment of the Venue Hire/Facility Fee within the time specified the Assembly Commission reserves the right to cancel your booking without any further reference to you.

3. Organiser’s Obligations: The Organiser agrees: -

3.1 That the facilities will only be used for the relevant event;

3.2 That the relevant event will be conducted in a safe and responsible manner and in accordance with all relevant regulations, requirements and any relevant legislation;

3.2 That the organiser will have sole responsibility for the administration and organisation of the relevant event, subject to the Assembly Commission’s overall administration of the Building and Grounds;

3.3 That all instructions given by the Events Office with regard to the use of the facilities and the organisation of the relevant event are strictly complied with;

3.4 To submit to the Events Office (not less than three working days before the relevant event) a full list of contractors who require access to the Building or its grounds, including vehicle details and expected arrival and departure times;

3.5 To submit to the Events Office (not less than three working days prior to the relevant event) a full list of guest’s names. On specific occasions a sample invitation may be accepted so long as the organiser, or their nominated deputy, is in attendance at the reception area when the guests arrive.

3.6  That the organiser, or a nominated deputy, be in attendance at all times when contractors and guests are in the Building/Grounds.

3.7 Not to display any paraphernalia such as flags or emblems or any other displays in any part of the facilities. The display of any paraphernalia must be agreed by the Events Office in advance of the event.

3.8 Not to display any flags or emblems outside the confines of the facilities and only in exceptional circumstances will permission be granted for the securing of banners or other types of signage to the Building’s gates and railing.

3.9 To leave the facilities in a clean and tidy condition at the end of the event;

3.10  To ensure that the facilities are vacated immediately at the end of the stated period and that all property of persons attending the relevant event shall be removed and that the Assembly Commission shall not accept responsibility for, or any liability which results from any property of the organiser or person attending the relevant event remaining within the curtilage of the facilities;

Under no circumstances, will vehicles be permitted to remain overnight in the upper car park and drivers are responsible to ensure they are removed accordingly. Those vehicles not removed at the conclusion of the event will be relocated to the Lower East Car Park by Assembly Management. The relocation and all related costs will be invoiced to the event organiser.

3.11 That if the Building/Grounds is used for the purposes of staging the relevant event involving minors (i.e. anyone under the age of 18) or vulnerable adults and the organiser shall have procured all relevant consents from parents/guardians for the making of any film(s), and the taking of any photographs during the relevant event and the organiser shall comply with any direction given by the Events Office in respect of any use of cameras or other image capturing devices.

3.12 It is the organiser’s responsibility to ensure that there is adequate supervision of any minors/vulnerable adults whilst present at the Building/Grounds and that adequate child protection arrangements are in place.

3.13 The provision of the facilities is conditional upon the organiser completing a site visit of the NIA prior to signing the contract to ensure the organiser is satisfied that the facilities meet their expectation. If the organiser is unable or unwilling to make a site visit images and descriptions are available on the NIA website which the organiser will be directed to and the Commission accepts no responsibility if the facilities do not meet the organiser’s expectations on the day.

4. Liability and Indemnity:

4.1 The Commission accepts no responsibility for any theft, loss or damage to any property of the organiser, their contractors or guests.

4.2  As soon as practicable after the holding of the relevant event, the Events Office will inspect the rooms used during the event and note any damage to the facilities. The organiser will be given the opportunity to be present when the inspection is carried out.

4.3 The organiser will be responsible for all damage noted by the Events Office and will indemnify the Commission against all losses, damages, costs and expenses incurred or suffered by the Commission as a result of this damage.

4.4 The organiser is responsible for guests attending the relevant event and for ensuring that they cause no damage to the Building/Grounds.

The organiser undertakes to exercise all reasonable precautions to protect the Building/Grounds and all persons on the site from any harm that might arise from the organiser’s presence and that of its personnel.

4.5 The organiser is responsible for ensuring all equipment brought into the Commission is removed again immediately or as agreed with the Events Office in advance. If equipment is not removed as agreed and it is necessary for the Events Office to arrange its removal, the Commission accepts no responsibility for any damage that may incur.

4.6 Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall exclude or limit the liability of either of the parties for (a) death or personal injury resulting from its negligence or that of its directors, employees or agents, or (b) any other liability that cannot be limited or excluded at law.

The organiser must indemnify the Commission in respect of all loss, loss of property and personal injury which it sustains by reason of the breach, non-observance or non-performance by the organiser of any of its obligations under this contract.

The organiser must indemnify the Commission in respect of all actions, claims, proceedings, expenses and damages (including any damages, compensation or sum which the Commission pays to compromise or settle any claim) and any other liabilities and all legal costs in respect of any other loss, loss of property or personal injury which (a) is caused directly or indirectly by any act or omission by the organiser or its personnel or any person associated with the organiser or (b) arises from any claim by a third party based on allegations which if true, would constitute a breach of the organiser’s obligations under these Terms and Conditions.

5. Termination:

5.1 In the event of any breach or non-observance of these Terms and Conditions by the organiser, or by any person involved in the organisation of the relevant event, then the Commission may revoke with immediate effect the permission to use, or to have continued use of the facilities.

5.2  Where permission is revoked pursuant to clause 5.1, all payments by the organiser to the Commission shall be forfeited as liquidated damages. The Organiser shall not be entitled to any compensation or refund in the event of the Events Office having to take action under Clause 5.1 thereof.

5.3  The Commission reserves the right at its discretion, but for reasonable cause, to cancel the booking at any time, provided that as much notice thereof as reasonably possible shall be given to the organiser and that all charges paid are refunded. The Commission will not be liable in such an event for any consequential losses alleged to be suffered by the organiser as a result of the cancellation.

6. General:

6.1 The staff of the Commission shall be entitled to access all parts of the Building/Grounds for the purpose of inspection, management and supervision.

6.2 The Commission reserves the right to change the room(s) hired by the organiser.

7. High Risk Events

7.1 If the relevant event is deemed to be of a higher risk due to significant set ups involved or high numbers of very young, elderly or special needs guests attending, a specific Risk Assessment may have to be completed. This will be undertaken by the Events Office staff and all relevant information must be provided to the Events Office as soon as is practicable.

7.2 All organisers and their guests must comply with the Commission’s Policy ‘Security Policy Conduct and Behaviour of Visitors in Parliament Buildings’ found on our website.

8. Insurance:

8.1 The Organiser shall be solely responsible for effecting and maintaining with a reputable insurance company a policy or policies of insurance providing an adequate level of insurance cover in respect of all equipment brought into the Building/Grounds for the relevant event against risks of third party, fire and theft. The organiser will, on request, produce a copy of all insurance policies, together with receipts or other evidence of payment of the latest premiums due under those policies.

8.2 All such equipment shall be kept at the Building/Grounds solely at the risk of the Organiser and the Commission does not accept any responsibility in respect thereof.

8.3 The Organiser shall comply in every respect with any directions given by the Commission insurers in relation to the holding of the relevant event.

If required by the nature and scale of the event the organiser if requested by the Commission will effect and maintain with a reputable insurance company a policy or policies of insurance providing an adequate level of cover in respect of all identified risks and will produce a copy of the insurance document to the Events Office in advance of the event.

9. Publicity & Promotion:

9.1 All tickets and all publicity and promotion brochures, posters and other literature shall be subject to the reasonable approval of the Events Office prior to the distribution and any amendments provided by the Events Office should be implemented.

9.2 All press releases which relate to the relevant event in relation to the Building/Grounds must be agreed by the COMMISSION Communications Office in advance of release.

Force Majeure:

If the relevant event cannot be held because of the inability of the Commission to make the Building/Grounds available due to any cause beyond its control (including fire, explosion or other damage or any act or event of force majeure) or because of any industrial action or dispute involving the Commission, the Commission shall make a full refund to the Organiser of all monies paid by him but shall not be liable for any losses whether direct or indirect suffered by the Organiser as a result of the cancellation of the relevant event, and in respect of which the Organiser is hereby advised to make his/her own insurance arrangements.

Agreement of the Terms & Conditions

I / We hereby acknowledge and agree to abide by the Terms & Conditions stated herein.

Signature (please indicate if representing a body or organisation):

Print Name:

Date:

Please return a signed copy of these Terms & Conditions to confirm your booking and keep a copy for your own reference

Download a printable version of the Terms & Conditions (Updated 2021) (PDF, 8 pages, 189KB)

Annex C

Download the invitation template (Updated 2021) (PDF, 1 page, 181KB)

Annex D

Download the Access List template (Updated 2021) (PDF, 1 page, 115KB)


Annex E       

Uniforms

Uniform Type

Category

Schools

Permissible at all events

Recognised Youth Organisations

e.g. BBs, Scouts, Girl Guides, Brownies, etc.

Permissible at all events

Clerical

e.g. collars, gowns, robes

Permissible at all events

Sashes & Regalia

e.g. Loyal Orders, Hiber Commission, etc.

Not permissible

Military I.

ARMY, RAF, NAVY

Permissible with cross designation support; and where those wearing the uniforms are representing their service in an official capacity.

Military II.

Of other jurisdictions

Permissible with cross designation support; and where those wearing the uniforms are representing their country in

an official capacity.

Military III.

Replicas of former forces

Requires approval by Director and/or Commission

Sporting Attire including blazers, tops, tracksuits.

Permissible with triple sponsorship and where those wearing are representing their sport in an official capacity.

Emergency Services

PSNI, Fire, Medical, etc.

Permissible at all events when representing their Service in an official capacity or providing their service as part of the event

 

 

1.Pursuant to section 31 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the Assembly dissolves at the beginning of a period of 26 days from the date of the poll for the election of each Assembly. An Assembly elected under section 31 or 32 shall meet within the period of 8 days beginning with the poll at which it is elected.

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