Through the Hubs programme, the Football Foundation is seeking to support facility management and operational models that maximise potential for local re-investment, helping to make the game more sustainable.
To achieve this ambition, we're looking for local authorities willing to commit to a model where their site is vested into a dedicated Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for football.
The SPV would hold the property through peppercorn lease arrangements, hold lifecycle funds for 3G FTP replacement and be responsible for managing the facility. This is a key component which allows football to take more responsibility and involvement in the management of grassroots facilities, and ensures an affordable, consistent and high-quality customer experience.
To-date, the National Football Trust, a registered Charity, has provided an optimal SPV model for maximising local re-investment potential. The National Football Trust has the ability to procure an operator via public open tender or, engage its dedicated charity subsidiary, Leisure United, to perform the services.
If a site can't be transferred into a dedicated SPV, the Foundation may decide to support a surplus share scenario that would see the ownership and management remain with the existing organisation.
However, across the programme, we don't expect many surplus share scenarios as the potential for local re-investment will be reduced and the outcomes are unlikely to be as strong.
In all cases where a Local Authority is not itself the direct operator, the Football Foundation will require the tenant/management operator to enter into a Deed of Adherence, binding them to the terms and conditions of the funding agreement as if they had been a co-applicant with the Local Authority.
We think it's very unlikely that organisations other than local authorities would be able to demonstrate sufficient impact and/or meet the key principles of the programme. For example, we don’t anticipate education sites will be suitable for Hubs as daytime access for the wider community will likely be restricted, limiting the outcomes that could be delivered.
However, we won't rule out Expressions of Interest from other organisations with significant playing pitch provision (such as universities and other public/charitable/voluntary organisations) which can also demonstrate they meet the key principles of the programme.
If you think this might be you, we strongly recommend you contact us first to discuss the situation ahead of submitting an Expression of Interest.
Any concerns over the management and operational structure outlined above should be detailed within your covering letter