Located on the Welsh Harp reservoir it is an oasis of quiet and wildlife. The Centre is a charity offering courses and day experiences on the water, particularly to young people through their schools and clubs. Around 8,500 people enjoy a 2-hour water experience every year, a number that has grown steadily since the Centre was founded in 2004.
As numbers have grown, the Centre has outgrown its facilities which are largely wooden huts. The Centre has secured planning permission for an environmentally friendly purpose-built facility on its existing site. Funded by the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Sporting Assets has worked with the Centre on its new vision and business plan to ensure it has future activities and revenues that benefit the community and enable the Centre to be financially sustainable. The Centre has already been successful in securing some funding for the capital build and news of other grant applications is awaited.
This involved developing a method to assess where clubs currently stood against key criteria such as facilities and governance, and where they wanted to improve. The pilot was collaborative between the clubs and the CSMs, with a facilitated discussion to systematically go through the criteria, a review of what plans, information and policies that a club had or knew they needed, and then an action plan developed by the CSM with the club for them to work on over the next year.
Sporting Assets developed the process and accompanying documentation, trained the CSMs in its use, and teamed up with CSMs to work on individual pilot clubs – both to offer insights from clubs in other sports and to ensure learning from the pilot was identified and fed into the approach that was agreed at the end of the pilot project.
Emma Hurst, the lead CSM for the pilot said: ‘We really enjoyed working with Sporting Assets and felt they could bring insights from their work on other projects. It was particularly helpful to have them involved in the focused discussion with individual clubs where they could ensure a common approach to them all and to the follow up actions.’
The objective of this project is to deliver high quality, progressive trails and a community space, offering something for everyone, from beginners to elite athletes.
Sporting Assets supported Cycle Pathway with the following:
• A detailed financial model to support the required investment, and to shows how the different business streams will ramp up over the next few years;
• The development of forecast usage of the park;
• Conducted an assessment of customer needs;
• Assessed the operational structure and skills on the board;
• Executed a financial management review;
• Developed an operational business plan.
Our work gave investors confidence in the viability of the project, enabling the commitment of £1.2m investment. For Cycle Pathway, our support helped them to plan how they will manage the construction phase and ramp up of operations over the next few years.
Sporting Assets worked with the team at StreetGames to look at their potential to deliver more training to the commercial sector, and what it would take to do that. This involved working closely with the StreetGames team on a project basis and in turn, talking to their customers and partners on future market potential as well as desk based research on market trends.
Sporting Assets wrote a business plan and financial model and then refined it with the StreetGames team so that everyone felt it set out the best option for the future, including on staffing and geographic focus for the project. Sporting Assets supported the executive team at the Finance Committee and Board discussions.
Sporting Assets worked with Lewes CFC between 2013 and 2015 to help the club develop a business plan and secure finance for a £630,000 3G multi use sports pitch.
The full amount was raised by a blend of financing methods, including £220,000 raised by a community share offer with the subscribers receiving 30% tax relief.
Key partners who were engaged in the overall scheme were Lewes District Council, Lewes Town Council, Sussex Football Association and East Sussex County Council plus several local schools.
The 3G pitch is now operational, providing a high quality facility for the Lewes CFC teams and local sports and community groups to utilise.
The initial feasibility study helped the group to assess how they could successfully cooperate together to take ownership of and manage local council owned football sites.
Following the initial feasibility study, we supported the group with their formation as ELFDA, a Community Benefit Society, and the business planning and development work required to deliver the project.
ELFDA has now taken ownership of 7 local football pitches via a community assets transfer, raised finance circa £435,000 to renovate them, and has started operating the pitches with excellent early feedback.
The strategic review focused on a number of key areas including:
• The operational management and financial sustainability of the facilities.
• The governance arrangement and relationship between local facility management and British Canoeing’s central • team.
• How the sites currently contribute to British Canoeing ’s overall strategy and how to maximising the sites’ contribution to British Canoeing ’s new 5 year strategy including on participation.
• Options for future investment models including social investment.
Ben Seal, Places to Paddle Manager at BC said: “Sporting Assets were able to offer innovative options on social investment, building on what we had already. They worked with us to understand our organisation and added real value in a supportive and collaborative way.”
Vintage Trains sought to raise community share capital, in order to start their own passenger train operating licence, grow the number of tourist trains operated and increase their workshop capacity.
Sporting Assets supported Vintage Trains by helping them prepare the business plan and share offer document needed to gain the community shares standard mark. This had to be completed in a very short period of time in order to fit in with the overall plan.
The outcome was that Vintage Trains were awarded the standard mark, and were able to launch the community share offer to the public on schedule in late 2017. Vintage Trains subsequently succeeded in securing the £800k minimum needed for the venture to proceed, and were granted a licence to operate passenger charter trains on the national network by the Office of Road & Rail on 4th September.