About Community Leisure UK – champion of the leisure & culture trust model

Community Leisure UK (CLUK) is a members’ association representing charities and social enterprises. CLUK members deliver public culture and leisure services for communities in England, Scotland and Wales. Collectivly it’s members organistaions employ over 46,000 staff and are significant employers of 18-34-year olds. Over 17,000 volunteers engage with CLUK members and participate in a wide range of opportunities in supporting their local charitable trusts.

CLUK members manage facilities including:

  • swimming pools
  • libraries
  • museums
  • pitches
  • gyms
  • ice arenas
  • beach fronts
  • parks
  • heritage buildings, and
  • children’s centres

Members deliver vital community services such as:

  • exercise
  • books on prescription,
  • short breaks for disabled children
  • adult social care and support programmes
  • walking programmes
  • internet access courses
  • apprenticeships and training
  • sports participation programmes

CLUK provides a nationwide platform for members to meet peers and access strategic partners. Members are rooted within local communities and deliver vital community services. CLUK distinguishes its delivery model from other public leisure services by cross-subsiding programmes, access and facilities. Profit generating activities subsidise non-profit generating activities, such as health, library and outreach programmes. This allows generated profit to be reinvested back into the local area, supporting CLUK’s charitable aims. It also enables income from users, who can afford to pay, to be ring-fenced to support subsidised access to activities.

Although this is an essential part of its identity, the true value of the trust model extends far beyond the non-profit distributing aspect. A principle focus of CLUK members’ is improving the physical and mental wellbeing of people across the UK. CLUK helps break down barriers to social inclusion and works with national and local partners to support their local areas. Trusts are genuine community anchors and each of our members delivers different programmes reflecting the needs of their community. Independent Boards Of Trustees are at the helm of charitable leisure trusts. The Boards consist of a mix of local people with different skill sets and backgrounds, providing real insight into the local landscape and enabling community involvement in agreeing their priorities.

The beauty of the model is that trusts can be agile and responsive in an ever changing and increasingly complex landscape. Members can adapt and diversify to ensure that they are resilient and sustainable organisations.