Portsmouth City Council
Portsmouth City Council is a unitary authority representing the UK's only island city, and one of the most densely populated areas in the UK outside of London, with an estimated population of 207,300, residing within 15.5 square miles.
The council’s Events Team has always supported communities to come together to celebrate special occasions, including the first Big Jubilee Lunch in 2012, to mark The late Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Since then, they’ve helped communities celebrate The late Queen’s 90th Birthday (2016), The Great Get Together (2017), The Royal Wedding (2018), as well as The Big Lunch.
Working in partnership
In 2022, we worked closely with the council to help them support residents to organise their own street parties and neighbourhood events, and over 100 took place across the city. The council also organised two city-wide, free Big Lunch events in the North and South of Portsmouth, to make the celebrations accessible to all.
For the Coronation Big Lunch, Portsmouth City Council is once again making the process for road closures as easy and efficient for residents as possible. They have created a streamlined, easy application process which has all the documents and templates needed to ensure a safe event. They have waived all road closure fees and are providing free road closure signage for residents.
“Thank you so much to all involved at the council in making this happen! We had a great day and have made many new friends… we’re now making plans to get together once a year for a sports day and picnic every June!”
Why does the council support The Big Lunch?
One of the council’s main priorities is to support the city’s recovery and renewal from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic – which has made many people reflect on the importance of events to bring people together, mark important occasions and enjoy the cultural aspects of where they live. Cross-departmental working, to support communities and put residents first is central to the council achieving this recovery and renewal and The Big Lunch provides a great opportunity for the council to support and enable residents to come together and celebrate.
The council has received 81 Coronation Big Lunch Street Party applications this year and knows the positive impacts these events can have on its local communities.
Free insurance for street party organisers
We’ve also worked closely with the council and our event insurance partners Creative Risk, to enable the council to provide blanket cover for all street parties across the city, with the council taking care of the administration and covering all costs.
Get insurance for your Big Lunch
Outside of the street parties, Portsmouth City Council is also holding a free, Big Lunch in the City Centre with music, food and activities for all the family – open to all.
5 top tips for councils
from Portsmouth Council
- Have a clear and simple application form to complete, bearing in mind that the street party organisers may have no events organisation experience.
- Have all information in one place, such as a webpage that is updated regularly and is widely advertised. Make it clear what costs the local authority are covering and what the organisers are required to cover.
- Provide templates and examples for all documentation required with the best practices shown – this is the element communities/applicants can often find overwhelming.
- Be clear and consistent with your communication to applicants, and set your timelines from the outset and stick to them make sure you include buffer times for unforeseen issues.
- Start promotion and provide information on your plans as early as possible.
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Everything councils need to know about The Big Lunch and how to support the initiative