Project: Gloucestershire Social Investment for Sport
Active Gloucestershire (AG) is a registered charity with the objective to promote health and wellbeing through activity and sport. AG is part of the Active Partnerships Network (APN), a national network for county sports operating across England. It is an infrastructure organisation that works in partnership with Sport England and the Gloucestershire County Council to deliver a number of sports and activity programmes, such as the Special Olympics, in schools, workplaces and in the community. The project aims to explore the potential for social investment targeting sports clubs and organisations with assets to be developed for community benefit.
Over the last two years, AG has been working in partnership with Resonance to explore the potential for social investment in sport and physical activity. While AG has noted that interest is growing, knowledge and understanding of social investment in the VCSE sector is still relatively low. AG wants to test the market locally to evaluate whether social investment advisory and brokering can generate an additional revenue stream and be replicated nationally.
If the project is successful, it will help AG to generate interest in social investment as a means to develop clubs and organisations that are often under-resourced. Social investment can help sporting clubs to substantially increase impact on under-served and/or disadvantaged communities. At the most basic, social investment could allow a community sport club to replace or renovate a building to accommodate more people, increasing physical activity levels in the local area.
Additionally, the project will potentially allow AG to develop sustainable unrestricted income. Funds from advisory services will generate an additional revenue stream for the infrastructure organisation, increasing its resilience, impact and support for local VCSEs. Finally, AG will share our learning with the APN so that the model can be replicated across other regions.