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Incentivising and Supporting Community Ownership in Sport

Stirling Albion 12750019 (2)

Incentivising and supporting community ownership in sport is a piece of research conducted by Substance which measured the volunteering value and capital investment at 6 clubs in England and Wales – AFC Telford United, Exeter City, Hunslet Hawks RFLC, FC United of Manchester, Lewes FC and Merthyr Town FC.

It found that the gross annual average benefit per club through volunteering value is £126,630 and the gross annual average benefit through capital investment per club is £168,383 – or £295,013 combined.

The research proposes that a new tax status should be created for democratically owned clubs that meet strict criteria, including reinvesting surpluses and protecting assets for community use. Clubs would benefit from Gift Aid on donations, receive 80% rate relief and have exemption from Corporation Tax.

It applied these benefits to the 6 clubs and found that on average they would save £25,664 per year, therefore there would be a net benefit of £269,349 comparing volunteering and investment alone.

It identifies 10 reasons to implement the COSC scheme

  1. It will increase financial sustainability and transparency in sport through community ownership
  2. It will improve governance in sport
  3. It will encourage wider community participation in ownership
  4. It will help deliver volunteer participation and value
  5. It will encourage community engagement in sports clubs
  6. It will encourage sports clubs to deliver local services and facilities
  7. It will help deliver increased inward investment in areas of deprivation
  8. It will develop new or protect existing community sports and non-sports facilities
  9. It will help level sport’s uneven financial playing field
  10. It will incentivise the expansion of community ownership by creating more wholly community owned clubs

You can read a full and summary version of the report.

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