We’re living in a time where our news feeds are filled with headlines about budget cuts, funding formulas and the government being strapped for cash. Schools and local communities are having to think of more and more inventive and innovative ways to raise funds. One solution that has been growing in popularity is the idea of hiring out sports facilities. It’s a fantastic way to encourage local families to keep fit and to generate additional revenue.
We’ve put together a handy advice guide for schools or local community groups that might be considering hiring out their sports facilities.
Why should I hire out my sports facilities?
By hiring out your sport facilities, you can help encourage local people to visit your school or community group and raise your profile and status in the local area. For schools, community use can also provide a new way to engage with parents that may have otherwise been difficult to reach and help the school be seen as a community hub. Boosting a positive presence after school hours could help improve community cohesion and reduce the risk of out of hours vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
One of our favourite reasons for schools and community groups hiring out their sports facilities is the fantastic effect it can have on boosting local health. Opening up your space to new opportunities for young people to create lifelong sporting habits is a wonderful way to boost physical activity in your area.
Once your sports facilities have become established within your local community, it’s possible to generate a healthy income for your school or community group that can be used to develop your sports provisions. Reaching out to community clubs can ensure this income becomes a regular stream.
Who can I hire my sports facilities to?
Schools or local community groups who decide to hire out their sports facilities often do so to a variety of clients. Local sports teams, community groups and societies, businesses, other schools or even just local residents.
What kind of events will they be used for?
Depending on the facilities that you have on offer, they can be hired out for all sorts of different events. Often they are used by local sports teams or groups to practice and train, or by other schools who might want to hold a sports event that they cannot fit within their own grounds. Schools with larger theatres may wish to hire out their space for drama and music productions, or even to local businesses for conferences or presentations. Many schools or local community groups also choose to hire out their sports facilities to local families for birthday parties and other active events.
Is it safe?
Letting out your sports facilities yourself gives you full control, and responsibility, of the space’s safety and security outside of normal hours. However, using an established lettings company will also ensure security and safety. They are required to use staff who are fully trained in safeguarding and hold an enhanced DBS check. They should also provide security during the time the space is being hired.
I’m not sure how to organise it, who can help me?
Some schools choose to organise sport facility hires themselves but many opt to have a specialist take over. Using companies such as School Lettings Solution, Schools Plus or School Hire takes some of the pressure off you and allows an outsourced team to handle the paperwork and organisation. If you’d like any further advice on how to get started, contact a member of our team today and we can point you in the right direction. The Sport England website offers a full list of lettings companies and partnerships available here.
Similarly, community spaces have the choice between hiring out their spaces themselves or involving a specialist letting company. My Community Space, Club Solutions (Wales) and Venues4Hire are all examples of letting companies who can help you hire out your space and boost your status within your local community as a health and sports provider.
Have you heard about the new Sport England funding for school facilities? Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to find out how we can help you find funding for your sports facilities.