It’s fair to say the majority of grassroots sports clubs face financial difficulties at one time or another – in fact it is arguably the single biggest issue clubs face. To raise funds clubs often need to think outside of the box. One potential means of raising money is sharing your club’s facilities.

Generating a New Income Stream

Many clubs, academies, schools and sports colleges have facilities – including pitches, gyms etc – unused outside of their regular hours of activity. By opening up the facilities for wider community use – be it other clubs or community groups – you’re not only doing your local area a favour, but you could potentially be earning a few quid while you’re at it.

Of course, many grassroots sports clubs do not have their own pitches or training ground, and indeed already use school grounds or other community facilities. Schools and colleges are probably the greatest providers of sporting facilities for local clubs, but still not enough are doing so, with floodlit pitches, dressing rooms and more going unused for large chunks of the week.

Show Your Commitment to your Community

It can prove a massive boon for a school or sports college. Providing sporting opportunities helps to raise your school’s profile and status, and demonstrates that you take seriously your commitment to the local community – creating that positive perception in your local catchment area can lead to parents choosing to send their kids to your school.

Being seen as a positive community hub / presence can improve community cohesion and be a way of negating and reducing the risk of out of hours anti-social behaviour, as well as developing wider school links.

However, there are plenty of sports clubs – particularly hockey, netball and tennis clubs and the like, that perhaps form part of a wider sports and social club – who do boast their own facilities, and it might be prudent for those clubs to think about opening up them up to other clubs and groups that could make the most of them.

Sport England’s ‘Community Use Agreement’

Providing community clubs with regular and secure access to your facilities will ensure a regular income stream and enable your school or club to offer sporting opportunities to your local community without having to actually deliver them yourselves.

Handily, Sport England have developed a template for a Community Use Agreement which provides a clear basis for drawing up agreements for individual schools, colleges and academies. Check it out.

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