What is a Trust – the leisure & culture Trust model

A ‘Trust’ is an independent non-profit-distributing organisation. This means every penny of profit generated is reinvested in the local community and used to support many of the organisations’ charitable aims. The model focuses on utilising cross-subsidy to provide quality programmes and facilities that are accessible to everyone. This is also what distinguishes Trusts from other public leisure service delivery models. Their purpose and ethos is rooted in the local place, helping to improve people’s lives and wellbeing by creating more inclusive places to live, work, and visit.

Charitable Leisure and Culture Trusts continually strive to offer a safe and welcoming space, with a range of activities and professional advice on hand. CLUK’s member Trusts are genuine community anchors, helping roll out bespoke programmes suited to the needs of their local areas. All Trusts want their activities and facilities to be diverse, mindful and inclusive of their communities. By having something on offer for everyone, they seek to remove barriers and encourage active involvement. Independent boards of Trustees are at the helm of charitable leisure Trusts. These boards have a mixed demographic of local people which provide them with real insight into the local landscape. This also allows community involvement in agreeing priorities.

Building strong connections is key to Trusts optimising their leisure provision. This is why they have a wide range of partners, from local authorities, health and social care partners, to other third sector organisations. CLUK provides a nationwide platform that allows networking and knowledge sharing with peers and offers access to strategic partners.

While supporting their local authorities in making their towns and cities attractive places to visit, Trusts are also proud to provide an attractive place to work. Trusts contribute significantly to the skills development of their communities. CLUK member Trusts collectively employ over 89,000 people and are supported by over 14,500 volunteers. Trusts are, rightly so, proud to develop local people’s skills and provide an attractive place to work right across the country.

Leisure and Culture Trusts’ services support national priorities like lessening social exclusion and loneliness, reducing childhood obesity, tackling health inequalities and supporting healthier eating. Immersing yourself in a cultural environment can also help with relaxation and reduce anxiety, as well as increase confidence. In a positive sense Trusts support personal development and improve people’s quality of life and sense of community by bringing people together.