Community asset transfer and what it means for sport and recreation
Sport and Recreation Alliance, the umbrella body for sport and recreation in the UK, policy officer Martin Key talks about the community asset transfer and how it can help sport and recreation governing bodies and clubs.
Recently the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s local authority working group met with Swindon’s leading sports administrators at an event hosted by Justin Tomlinson MP.
Justin was a cabinet member for culture, leisure & recreation in Swindon Borough Council prior to his election to Parliament and during this time he founded the successful sports forum which gives clubs and other local stakeholders the opportunity to work together and have a direct line of communication with the council. Justin believes that clubs and facilities should be in charge of their own affairs – which is why he invited the Sport and Recreation Alliance to Swindon to show what can be achieved
The Alliance, along with the representatives from the ECB, British Gymnastics, Bowls England, Badminton England and England Squash and Racketball, were impressed with successes achieved by the local councils in turning around the fortunes of ageing facilities through innovative approaches and it was also pleasing to hear, from my point of view anyway, a refreshing thought from councillors that cutting funding for sport and leisure was counterproductive.
We started the tour in Esprit Gymnastics - an ‘Olympic’ standard training facility created with a lot of hard work – given a kick start to life through the method known as ‘community asset transfer’.
The local authority working group identified this topic as a priority for the sector because it involves the transfer of the management of a facility from a local authority to the council. The Government encourages this process but at present British Gymnastics is one of the few NGBs who have much experience of using it.
Esprit Gymnastics is a success story that has worked for all involved. It has worked for the council as it now has a well-used facility in a previously disused school building.
It has worked for British Gymnastics, who have been able to provide funding to bring the facility up to an Olympic standard.
And most importantly it has also worked for the local community where 2,000 people come through the doors every week and paying competitive prices.
If you would like to read more in-depth details about the community asset transfer involved with Esprit Gymnastics. Please read the case study.
If you would like more information on community asset transfer please email Martin.
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