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Local MP urges sports clubs to make Olympic-sized savings

November 7, 2006 5:27 PM

Tom Brake MP has thrown his weight behind a campaign to cut the amount of cash local sports clubs hand over to the taxman each year and to encourage local people to get fit and active -perhaps even getting on the road to London 2012 medal contention.

Tom Brake MP is urging clubs in Carshalton and Wallington to sign up to an HM Revenue and Customs scheme which could see local clubs save hundreds of thousands of pounds to re-invest in pitches, coaches and facilities across the area, ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

To date, over 4000 clubs across the country have taken advantage of the Community Amateur Sports Clubs scheme - which provides 80% statutory rate relief as well as eligibility for Gift Aid on donations - saving over £15m (an average saving of £3,500 per club each year).

But that figure represents only 10% of the clubs which could be benefiting from the little-known scheme - meaning that £60m which could remain in club coffers is being handed over to the taxman each year.

The campaign, led by CCPR, the alliance for governing bodies of sport, is aimed at ensuring that more clubs reap the benefits of the scheme and to ensure that as much money as possible is retained within community clubs in the run-up to the London Olympics in six year's time. CCPR believes that the extra cash will be vital if clubs are to take advantage of the Olympic window and get as many people as possible involved in sport and recreation.

Speaking today; Tom Brake said:

"It really is essential that clubs make the most of this scheme. The more clubs sign up to register, the more money raised by our community sports clubs can be re-invested into our communities' facilities. This scheme offers clubs the chance to save thousands of pounds each per year, simply by registering with HMRC - and that's money that I know sport and recreation can make really good use of.

"Yet, so far, only a tiny proportion of eligible clubs have signed up, meaning that thousands are missing out on potential windfalls. These clubs are outlets for local communities to exercise, and to socialize. They are also proven to statistically reduce anti-social and destructive behaviours in an area, and raise educational achievements. These clubs are centres of their communities, and they owe it to themselves to sign up for this scheme and make the most of their resources."

Tim Lamb, Chief Executive of CCPR, added:

"It's simple to register but clubs who registered a couple of years ago are already being able to point at the extra investment they've been able to make in things like coaching, new strips and better pitches. Club members can easily find out more by visiting a new website dedicated to the scheme - www.cascinfo.co.uk."

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