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Rate Relief for Sports Clubs

 Community Amateur Sports Clubs

Sports clubs can claim 80% rate relief by applying for Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) status. You can do this through the HM Revenue & Customs  website or by phoning them on 0845 3020203.  If your club has attained CASC status and you are not already receiving rate relief, please contact us.
If the property is empty you can still claim rate relief if, when next in use, it will be used by a CASC. There is 100% relief for an empty property in this situation. Please contact us if this applies to you.

 Other Sports Clubs

In the case of sports clubs who are not eligible for Community Amateur Sports Club status, the Council has discretion to grant relief of up to 75% of the rates.
In deciding whether to grant discretionary relief, the Council will look at the contribution that the organisation makes to the area. Other criteria that are assessed are:
New Forest District Council will apply the following criteria when deciding whether to award discretionary rate relief:

 Organisations that satisfy the "Access" criteria

(a)Is membership open to all sections of the community? There may be legitimate restrictions placed on membership which relate for example to the ability in a sport or to the achievement of a standard in the field covered by the organisation or where the capacity of the facility is limited. Clubs or organisations should not be considered if the membership rate is set at such a high level as to exclude the general community. In general, the club or organisation must be prepared to show that the criteria by which it considers applications for membership are consistent with the principal of open access.
(b)Does the organisation actively encourage membership from particular groups in the community e.g. young people, women, older age groups, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, etc? An organisation, which encourages such membership, might expect more sympathetic consideration than one, which made no effort to attract members from groups, which the Council considers to be particularly deserving of support.
(c)Are the facilities made available to people other than members? E.g. schools, casual public sessions, etc? The wider use of facilities should be encouraged and rate relief might be one form of recognition that an organisation was promoting its facilities more widely.

Organisations that satisfy the "Provision of Facilities" Criteria

(a)Does the organisation provide training or education for its members? Are there schemes for particular groups to develop their skills, e.g. young people, the disabled, retired people? An organisation providing such facilities might deserve more support more than one which did not.
(b)Have the facilities available been provided by the self-help or grant aid? The fact that a club uses or has used self help for construction or maintenance or had facilities funded by grant aid might be an indicator that they were more deserving of relief.
(c)Does the organisation run a bar? The mere existence of a bar should not in itself be a reason for non granting relief. The Council will look at the main purpose of the organisation.  In sports clubs for example the balance between playing and non-playing members might provide a useful guide as to whether the main purpose of the club is sporting or social activities.  A social club whose main aim is to bring together people with similar interests will not be excluded from relief just because of the existence of a licensed bar.
(d) Does the organisation provide facilities which indirectly relieve the Council of the need to do so, or enhance and supplement those which it does provide? The Council will not refuse to grant rate relief on the grounds that an organisation is in competition with the Council itself, but will look at the broader context of the needs of the community as a whole. A new need, not being provided by the Council but identified as a priority for action, might be particularly deserving of support.

Organisations that satisfy the "Other Considerations" Criteria

(a)Is the organisation affiliated to local or national organisations, e.g. local sports or arts councils, national representative bodies? i.e. are they actively involved in local/national development of their interests?
(b) Is the membership drawn from people mainly resident in the New Forest District Council area? Where properties are situated close to the Council's boundary, a proportion of the membership may come from another billing authority's area. Also for geographical reasons, particular facilities may be the only ones available for a wide area.  In such cases the joint use of facilities by one or more similar organisations is not uncommon. In most cases there will be a measure of reciprocity between the memberships of organisations from different areas.
(c)The organisation should be able to demonstrate a financial need for relief.

Download a adobe icon discretionary rate relief claim form [116kb] to print off and send to us or contact us to be sent a copy.

Return your completed forms to the:-

Revenues and Benefit Service, New Forest District Council, Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington, SO41 9ZG

Updated: 10 Mar 2017
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