CCDP funding – what does it all mean?
Even if I told you it stands for Community Club Development Programme, you may be none the wiser – although the clue is in the name. It’s a government initiative to support community based sports clubs to do what they do best – introduce and nurture future sporting stars and to involve the community in great worthwhile activities.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS for acronym lovers), through Sport England, is aiming to improve grass-level sports facilities with its CCDP funding.
In canoeing’s case, it is raising the image. The majority of canoeists are unseen; therefore CCDP funding aims to help change this image.
It recognises that the best coaching in the world might be taking place and that our excellent canoe clubs are capable of developing future World Champions or paddlers capable of worldwide first descents. It’s a case of critical mass – the more paddlers you attract, the more likely you are of nurturing talented performers and coaches.
CCDP funding is one of the BCU’s successes. Round 1 of the CCDP programme is nearly complete with 11 clubs proudly using new facilities or about to move in. Round 2 is in healthy progress with grant applications in, and planning submissions, partnership funding and the likes well under way. Already 36 projects have been directly helped by CCDP funding for facilities, with further clubs helped indirectly with equipment secured through the BCU’s Young People’s Placid Water Programme. Hopefully there will be a third round of funding in the future – watch this space!
One of the great CCDP success stories is White Rose Canoe Club based in Leeds. Formally based in a swimming pool, it was hard for the club to grow and develop. Having received help from the BCU to secure funding to develop a new clubhouse, its membership has doubled in size. They are now based on Leeds’ biggest lake in the city – Roundhay Park. The city-owned lake was being restored to its former Victorian glory with the help of heritage money. The boathouse was to be restored, but as no commercial operator could be found, there was going to be no access to the water and its facilities. Thanks to CCDP funding, White Rose Canoe Club now have year-round access to the water and operate with facilities on par with the best sports clubs in the country. As it is so much in the public eye, it promotes canoeing every outing. A true testimony that with CCDP funding, participation levels shoot up.
As a word of caution, applying for CCDP funding isn’t a quick fix option. No-one is going to write your canoe club a fat cheque just because you’ve got some talented paddlers, or just because you fancy a swanky clubhouse. As with any Government grant, there are strict criteria, such as being in or near an area of deprivation, and being available to the community. The project needs to attract partnership funding, have planning permission and secure tenure of the land – all big hurdles that need enthusiastic volunteers to negotiate.
Any club applying also needs, or is working towards, Sport England Clubmark status, which requires the club to produce development plans and formalised guidelines and procedures – a worthy accreditation in its own right.
Each club who applies has to ask itself some serious questions, such as: Do we want to put in the work producing all the necessary documents, complying with regulations etc or are we too busy going boating? Do we have the volunteers to cope with the extra demand we’d create? Can we raise or find partnership funding? Are we willing and able to take on members from all aspects of the community? It’s all about sustainability – will the canoe club still be there in 50 years?
The issues that have to be tackled by clubs wishing to apply can be divided up into ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ issues. Hard issues include for example - concrete, wood, design, planning permission, utilities, security of tenure, surveys, costs etc. Soft issues include partnership funding, fund raising, a comprehensive programme of canoeing events, comprehensive outreach programmes, a business plan and a sport development plan.
The Sports Development Plan is the membership/user numbers as now, during the currency of the build part of the project, (the club might have to temporarily relocate for example and could lose members as a result) and also includes the projected numbers that are to be expected after the project has been completed.
Applying for CCDP funding can be a very positive, learning experience for canoe clubs as it can act as a catalyst for change. There are a massive number of volunteers with a passion for canoeing, and an even greater number of canoeists or people eager to join in, but with a lack direction the best results cannot be achieved. CCDP and Top Club gives them a positive management ethos and something to aim for.
This in turn may not just highlight the poor inadequate physical hard things, (club houses), but also that the lease has expired, or the club never had one etc. Or the constitution is poor and needs updating or that things would be better if they moved down the road, or as in White Rose's case it triggers them into asking for a lease for the whole lake all of the time and not part of it for part of the time.
CCDP also brings with it more attention from both the BCU office and the Paddlesport Development Officer for their area. As clubs feel they are playing a greater part in the BCU family, they are then more likely to offer more regional events, therefore attracting more participants.
A win-win situation summarised as: Better organisation = more events = more participants = a need for better and more organisation.
Having learnt from the 1st round of applications, the BCU now appoints technical consultants, familiar with Sport England’s requirements, to assist clubs in the application process so the whole process is so much smoother.
So far canoeing has secured £1,660,000 for Round 1 to be spent over 3 years and a further £1,300,000 in the 2nd Round to be spent over 2 years.
BCU is hoping that there will be a third round of funding, hopefully earlier rather than later. There will be a conference held in London in February for anyone either in the process of applying or who may wish to apply if there was a future round.
Presentation from CCDP Conference 17th February 2007
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT THE CCDP PAGES