Funding questions

Can we apply for less than £25,000 or more than £750,000?

No. We are unable to fund outside this range. For amounts below £25,000 there may be better ways to fund your requirements such as small grants, crowd funding or donations. We’d suggest contacting the British Gymnastics Facilities Team via email participation@british-gymnastics.org for support.

What can I use the investment for?

The loan funding will be used to help organisations move into new, or expand existing, dedicated gymnastics facilities, or acquire existing facilities, to meet a recognised need to provide better access for children and young people to benefit from gymnastics.

Typical costs that can be financed by the loan include:

  • Capital works to buildings (refurbishment, fit out, build)
  • Working capital
  • Gymnastics equipment
  • Recruitment, training and deployment of staff and volunteers
  • Equipment to support business functions, including finance, project management and governance
  • Other operating costs

All projects must have the goal to move into a new, or expand an existing, dedicated gymnastics facilities. Funding is not available simply to upgrade existing equipment.

Exceptionally, funding can be used towards the acquisition of an existing facility. If you are seeking acquisition finance please contract us at: enquiries@clubcapital.co.uk

Do I have to have all the other funding that a project must have in place before applying to Club Capital?

No, you can apply for funding before all of this is in place, but you should be working towards this being completed and have other sources identified. Having all, or most, of your capital funding in place makes your project closer to being ready for investment and therefore gives it a greater chance of success.

Can we get grant funding from Club Capital for our project?

No, Club Capital only provides loan finance. However, if you or your project need support to become ready for investment there may be grant funding available from a variety of sources to which we can refer you.

Can I apply for a grant from Sport England Community Asset Fund and a loan from Club Capital?

No. Unfortunately, as the Community Asset Fund is one of the Club Capital key funders, applicants will only be eligible for a Club Capital loan.

If you have previously received a grant from the Sport England Community Asset Fund please note this on your application or contact us before completing the Expression of Interest form. We can quickly assess whether this will preclude you from receiving investment from Club Capital.

Will the loan be secured or unsecured, and if secured what form will it take?

Club Capital assesses the merits of each loan on a case by case basis, as we have made loans to a broad range of clubs. Unlike many other lenders, who require security as standard, we will only ask for some form of security where we believe there is a risk factor which cannot be mitigated another way. Examples of risk factors are:

  • A complex construction or fit-out process;
  • A club which requires a high increase in members to be viable;
  • A financial forecast which shows low cash balances throughout the loan term.
  • The acquisition of a facility that is financially stressed or has been struggling financially in the recent past.

It is important to note that many lenders increase the interest rate that they charge if the risk of a loan is considered to be a higher than usual, Club Capital does not do this – we charge the same low interest rate for all of our loans. Where a loan is considered to be higher risk, we will ask for security in the form of a fixed charge over some assets owned by the investee organisation and/or the acquisition target, and we will agree with you in advance which assets will be covered. We will not ask for a personal guarantee.

Eligibility criteria

My club is based outside of England, can we apply?

No. Unfortunately, due to the requirements of our funders, we are only available to fund organisations and activities based in England.

I’m not sure if my organisation is incorporated – can you provide any more guidance?

Club Capital can only invest in incorporated organisations. This means that your organisation is recognised as a legal entity rather than as being a collection of individual people. Examples of incorporated organisations include:

  • Company Limited by Shares
  • Company Limited by Guarantee
  • Community Interest Company Limited by Shares
  • Community Interest Company Limited by Guarantee
  • Charitable Company
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation
  • Community Benefit Society
  • Charitable Community Benefit Society
  • Cooperative Society

Examples of unincorporated organisations, which we won’t fund, include charitable trusts and unincorporated associations. If you are in the process of becoming incorporated, or considering it, you can still apply, but, if successful, we can only invest once incorporated.

I’m not sure what organisation types are eligible – can you provide any more guidance?

Club Capital can only invest will only fund eligible organisations. Eligible organisations are either:

  • Regulated organisations such as Charities, Community Interest Companies or Community Benefit Societies which pursue charitable objective(s); or 
  • Unregulated organisations (other incorporated organisations) who must have: 
  • A “mission lock”. The organisation must have a clear social mission written into its governing documents and a commitment to dedicate a proportion of the organisation’s operations to further its social mission. These should be “locked” into governing documents to help social ventures avoid mission drift and stay true to their purpose as they expand, reducing the risk of private benefit overwhelming public goals.
  • An “asset lock”. In the event that the social venture fails, an asset lock ensures that any residual assets can only be distributed to organisations with similar objectives.
  • Restrictions on profit distribution. A social venture should ideally be profitable. To ensure the organisation can grow and increase its social and/or environmental impact there must be a commitment to reinvest surpluses into pursuing the social mission. Distributions (e.g. dividends) must be less than 50% of post-tax profits.
  • Be for public benefit. The organisation must offer its products and services for public benefit without restrictions and barriers (such as affordability). Any private gain because of these activities must be incidental and minimal.
  • Be transparent. The organisation must be able to articulate, evidence, measure and report on its social impact and purpose. It must be open to undertaking an independent social impact audit. Its remuneration and benefits policy must be open, and reasonable and proportionate relative to the market practice for social sector organisations.

The Club Capital team can help you understand what you would need to make your organisation eligible if it isn’t currently.

Why do I need to be a member of British Gymnastics?

Club Capital has been conceived in partnership between Sporting Assets and British Gymnastics. British Gymnastics have partly funded Club Capital and will provide support to organisations looking to apply for loan. Therefore, only members of British Gymnastics are eligible to apply and receive investment from Club Capital.

Why does recreational gymnastics need to be our primary activity?

Gymnastics is widely recognised as providing structured development of physical skills from a very early age, and recreational gymnastics that follows the British Gymnastics award scheme provides structured development of physical, emotional and cognitive skills from a young age. These foundation skills and learned activity habits, often mean those who participate in recreational gymnastics retain an active lifestyle within or outside of the sport.

British Gymnastics and other Club Capital partners are keen to see more children and young people being able to benefit, not only to participate in gymnastics but to have healthier, more active lives.

Delivering recreational gymnastics also creates a stronger business model for clubs, putting them in a better position to be able to afford a Club Capital loan.

Why do we need to follow the British Gymnastics award scheme?

The British Gymnastics award scheme enables you to easily track the progress and skill development of your gymnasts. This is important for young people taking part, but also for us to demonstrate the value and impact of the fund. Being able to robustly measure the impact gymnastics, and the fund, are having can help attract further investment into the sport.

If you do not currently use this system, to be eligible for a loan you will need to agree to implement it at your club. British Gymnastics will be able to assist you with this process.

What do you mean by a business under undue financial stress?

As a responsible investor we will only invest into clubs that can afford a loan. We will undertake detailed due diligence and work with British Gymnastics to ensure financial forecasts are realistic and based on robust assumptions, and that there is sufficient headroom to manage any financial underperformance or unexpected increases in costs.

Can I apply if the Club is currently being investigated for Integrity or Safeguarding issues?

Clubs that are being investigated for Integrity or Safeguarding issues may not be eligible for Club Capital Investment funding. The eligibility of funding may change at any stage in the process where concerns are raised to the Integrity Unit at British Gymnastics. If your club has ongoing cases please contact the British Gymnastics Integrity Team for further details.

Can I apply for a Club Capital loan if my club has already received funding from the Sport England Community Asset Fund?

No. Unfortunately, as the Community Asset Fund is one of the Club Capital key funders, applicants will not be eligible for a Club Capital loan if they have already received a grant from this fund. If you have received other funding from another Sport England fund please flag this in your application.

What are the requirements for UK Subsidy and State Aid control?

Club Capital funding will count towards the level of Subsidy and State Aid that you have received, which is currently capped at £340,000 over the past three years. Subsidy and State Aid are financial contributions using public resources which confer a benefit on the recipient. This could include, for example, a grant payment, a loan with interest below the market rate, or a loan guarantee. If you have received £300,000 or more over the past three years we recommend you get in touch to check whether you are still eligible.

Application process

I don’t have planning permission yet, can I apply?

If your project needs planning permission, then it is not essential for you to have already secured this in order for you to apply. When submitting your application, you do need to have clear plans in place as to how you will complete your project in your proposed timeframe and how your request for planning permission fits into your project plan. It is a condition of funding however that planning permission is granted before our loans can be deployed.

I don’t have a lease yet, can I apply?

In order for the loan to be approved, your club will need to have a lease that lasts for at least the length of the loan term plus 12 months. This will not need to be signed before you apply but must be signed before you can access the loan funds.

How long will the application process take?

The application process will vary depending upon a number of factors, in particular how ready for investment you are. We anticipate the minimum amount of time from the application being submitted to the investment being approved will be 2 months, with a further month to allow for loan documents to be signed and payment to be transferred. To keep the process moving we will respond within ten working days to your initial expression of interest and aim to schedule a call and follow up questions within 2 weeks. These questions will be straightforward and will mostly rely on information that should be readily available. If you have any concerns about unexpected delays (for example due to illness or annual leave) please let us know and we will work with you to complete the information requested as quickly as possible.

Are there any requirements around accessibility?

Club Capital is committed to ensure facilities are as inclusive and accessible as possible, for example:

  • Building: Unless not possible due to the type/age/layout of the building, buildings should be made fully accessible. For example, all floors should be fully accessible for people with limited mobility or wheelchair users – a method to achieve this is to install a platform lift.
  • Equipment accessibility: As far as possible, equipment should be made accessible (eg. podiums should have a ramp). British Gymnastics can support you with how to do this if needed.
  • Disability gymnastics: Clubs applying for funding are encouraged to increase their inclusive offer to enable more disabled gymnasts to take place, and/or to offer disability gymnastics.

I need evidence of funding soon to help secure my property. Can I get a funding decision in a quicker timeframe?

We may be able to provide an investment decision sooner than the standard window of 2 months in exceptional cases, where your club is:

  • An established club with a large member base and good financial standing; and
  • The facility sought is in an area in which competition for properties is high, which results in a short window of opportunity to secure the property.

If you would like further information please contact us at: enquiries@clubcapital.co.uk

If my application is unsuccessful can I apply again in the future?

If you are unsuccessful, we will give you feedback on why your project is not right for Club Capital at this time. You may apply again, however, to be considered you would need to demonstrate that you have successfully addressed any issue or concerns highlighted in the feedback. You should not simply resubmit the same application.

Other questions

How much will the loan cost?

Our loan investment is repayable and attracts interest. For most investments this will be 4% per annum. There is a one off arrangement fee of 2% that will be netted off the investment on day one e.g. if you borrow £100k, you will receive £98k in your bank account on day one, and £2k will be retained to cover the arrangement fee.

Can we prepay the loan in the future?

Yes, once you draw down the loan, provided that each repayment is no less than 20% of the total loan facility and a minimum of 10 Business Days’ prior notice is given, you are able to do so without any penalty.

Are there any requirements about how many Board/Committee members we have?

As per the Code for Sports Governance developed by UK Sport and Sport England, in order to avoid conflicts of interest we require that your club has at least three independent people on its Board/Committee who are unrelated and non-cohabiting, unless there are extraordinary circumstances which mean this is not possible.

For further information on this topic, the Code for Sports Governance can be found on the UK Sport website at the following link: https://www.uksport.gov.uk/resources/a-code-for-sports-governance

Are there any other requirements before I can draw down the money if I am successful in getting investment?

If your application is approved, there will usually be conditions that need to be met in order for you to draw down the money, for example a signed lease for the club’s facility. Additionally, in order to complete anti-money laundering checks we will require the following information before the money can be drawn down:

  • Know Your Customer consent forms for Directors and Ultimate Beneficial Owners
  • An original bank statement so we can check the bank address and details. A scanned copy is ok.
  • A list of signatories for the club’s bank account. The bank account must require at least two people (who are unrelated and do not live at the same address) to sign cheques, set up and authorise payments or make a withdrawal.
  • A copy of the bank mandate which details the signatories on the account.
  • Details of passports for two directors.

Are there any other reporting requirements if I am successful in getting investment?

As well as telling us about the impact the investment helps you to deliver, we will also need some regular information about the financial health of your organisation. This will include:

  • Annual Statutory Accounts (or equivalent);
  • Simple quarterly financial information (we will give you a template);
  • Quarterly updates on participants progression through British Gymnastics reward scheme (we will give you a template); and
  • Quarterly surveys on the wider benefits children and young people feel (we will give you the survey questionnaires).

Why must we submit Know Your Customer Consent forms for our Directors and Ultimate Beneficial Owners?

Know Your Customer checks are a crucial aspect of Anti Money Laundering compliance and we are required to undertake these checks to assess the risk-level of individuals with a significant role in the club. The checks which we will undertake as part of this process will verify the identity of individuals involved with the club using their date of birth, address and passport details. Please be assured that the director checks are not credit checks and neither is it a “hard check” that affects anyone’s credit rating.

Complaints Procedure

What is the procedure if I have a complaint?

We are committed to providing all prospective applicants and investees with the best possible service. However, if on any occasion you feel this has not been the case, the following process will help us resolve your issue.

  • If you have a complaint, this can be submitted in writing, via email to complaints@clubcapital.co.uk
  • All complaints will be acknowledged in writing within five working days of receipt.
  • A formal response to the complaint will usually be provided within four weeks of receipt of the complaint.  If this is not possible, the reason for the delay will be communicated to you. 

What if I remain dissatisfied?

If you are dissatisfied with the formal response provided, you may refer the complaint to the Club Capital Board within four weeks of receiving the formal response, and also via email to complaints@clubcapital.co.uk

Any action relating to outcomes arising from the investigation of the complaint will be entirely at the discretion of the Board. The decision of the Board will be final and, except as to matters of legality, there shall be no right of appeal.