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Girls playing basketball on a court

Get back to basics

Think about what's essential - and what's desirable. Try to be as flexible as possible when considering the following issues:

  • Do you need to be indoors or outdoors?
  • What markings do you need?
  • What equipment is important?
  • Where's the best location? 
  • How often will you want to hire somewhere?
  • What's the availability?
  • How much will it cost?

Use this tool

Girls in a gym pumping weights

Use the BBC’s Get Inspired Activity Finder to find activities taking place near you. Other clubs or organisations may have facilities that you can use.

Doing your research at the start will really pay off later. 

Ask about concessions

Elderly people stretch their hands out in front of them

When you're talking to venue owners, ask about costs and any discounts for concessionary groups.

Many local councils can offer a VAT reduction on block bookings of 10 weeks or more.

Speak to your local leisure centre to see if this applies.

Keep everyone happy

A man scrambles up a climbing wall, he looks very determined

Once you start to use a venue, keep everything relaxed and friendly with the manager or operator.

You'll need their cooperation if you want to make changes to your booking in the future.

Plus they can help you spread the word about your amazing new group!

Think creatively

Runners limber up in an urban environment

Get thinking about all the places that could have the space and equipment that you need. Don’t just limit yourself to leisure centres.

You could consider:

  • Schools. 
  • Community centres.
  • Other sports clubs.
  • Private leisure operators. 

Stay up to date

Girls playing football race towards the ball

If you manage and operate your own venue and facilities, then keep up to date with the latest developments. The facilities guidance on Buddle is a great resource.

Learn about keeping facilities in tip-top shape, without breaking the bank, and find out about common legal and regulatory issues that could affect your group.