This is your chance to become a Member/Co Owner in Ballymacash Sports Academy, the fastest growing community owned sports facility in NI
by Academy Manager in Lisburn, Lisburn and Castlereagh, United Kingdom
Ballymacash Sports Academy was formed in 2017 by a group of like-minded individuals, all with a passion for sports, community, and Ballymacash Rangers FC.
We embraced the fact that developing sports in the community meant developing stronger communities. We began to work in partnership with other local organisations and plan for better facilities, more sports activities and become a truly accessible Sports Academy, on the very ground where we started as players, members, and supporters of Ballymacash Rangers Football Club.
The Academy is a community co-operative & registered charity with over 300 members with a current voluntary board of nine experienced directors/trustees, who have demonstrated an ability to manage projects and funds.
People in Ballymacash and far afield can access a new full size floodlit 3G artificial grass pitch with a100 seated spectator stand thanks to the good work of the Academy.
The new 3G pitch has increased the footfall significantly with over 1200 users per week. We have an agreement in place with a local school and offer their students free use of the facility during school hours as part of our community impact.
Local youth organisations are also looking after mini allotments and a community garden, just beside the pitch. Finally, Academy members actively participate in the annual Motor Neurone Disease Fundraising day at the facility and raises over £4,000 for the charity each year, and this is hosted collaboratively between the Sports Academy, Ballymacash Rangers FC, and Motor neurone Disease Northern Ireland
Now we have the opportunity to develop further the Academy Community Hub, replace the portacabins and build a community gym. With better facilities, we can reach out to more people and getting more people involved in the Academy is the key of our past and future successes.
Part of this development phase will include:
• Multi Use Community Room – to accommodate:
o Female Fitness Classes
o Yoga/Spin Classes/Pilates/Fitness and Nutrition Training
o Health and Wellbeing Classes
• Community Gym - 50 sqm single room facility with cardio and strength equipment to meet broad range of needs.
As we emerge from the Covid19 Pandemic, we want to especially attract those who during the lockdowns and self isolations became dis-engaged with physical activity and sports, and get them re-engaged, re-energised and active again. Not only will this be good for them physically, but socially as well, bringing them into a friendly community were new friendships can be made
Should we hit our target we will spend the money raised to purchase gym and fitness equipment for the community gym that will be situated in the new Community Hub.
This will allow the local community to access a fitness suite within walking distance of their homes in Lisburn North, which is currently not an option for many in the Ballymacash area, especially females in the area who have no access to transport.
We will be able to purchase equipment to facilitate Cardio work, Strength and Conditioning, Yoga and Pilates classes.
There are many parents for who the hour that their child is at football training at The Bluebell, is potentially the only hour they have to do any physical exercise or fitness classes themselves.
We have heard this many times through consultation with our users and members, and through the fundraising for equipment we will soon be in a position to be able to provide what is needed. This will help engage a new audience of people to get active and will in turn assist in making our facility more resilient for the future.
How much can you invest and what are the risks?
We ask you to purchase community shares in our project and become a co-owner of this dynamic new enterprise. We have kept the minimum investment low at £50 so that it is affordable to all. We have also created ‘share offer packages’ so that you can also get rewarded if you go the extra mile. However, the principle ‘one member, one vote’ stands and this means members are entitled to one vote – regardless of how many shares they hold.
In the event that we do not reach our minimum target, we will not proceed with our Community share offer. No shares will be allocated and any money committed by our investors will be returned.
You need to be aware that any money you invest in community shares is fully at risk. You could lose some or all of your money if the society gets into financial difficulties. You have no recourse to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Before investing in this project, please make sure you view the share offer document, the business plan and our governing document available at www.ballymacashsportsacademy.org
What is the Community Shares Standard Mark?
The Standard Mark provides a framework for societies to develop high quality share offer documents with support from CSU accredited practitioners.
The Community Shares Standard Mark ensures that community share offers are clear, honest and transparent. They also ensure that investors are presented with all the facts they need to make an informed decision and these facts are supported by annual accounts and/or the business plan.
Standards are overseen by the Co-operative and Community Capital Committee, a member group of Co-operatives UK with representatives from across the sector.