Although land and buildings can take a while to deteriorate, they can quickly become unfit for use. Dirty, outdated and neglected spaces and facilities can soon become unfit for use. They cease to be assets.
Although transferred assets are less likely to be allowed to run into disrepair when club identities are associated with them, some community based organisations tend to take a simplistic approach to managing these responsibilities. Instead, a more strategic view of the whole life cycle of an asset and its use over time is necessary, e.g.
- Flat roofs fail often and tend to be a drain on the maintenance budget
- Boilers are not replaced as per their recommended life and are run to fail, thus increasing ongoing maintenance spend
- Bulbs are replaced on an ad-hoc basis resulting in frequent high call out charges
- Buying high energy rated equipment will save money in fuel bills.
A regular maintenance programme should be established to maintain the highest standards.
The activities associated with maintaining an asset and managing its use can be referred to as Facilities Management (FM). The document ‘Facilities Management Activities & Tasks’ outlines the activities and the associated potential tasks, which may be undertaken by dedicated property management staff or absorbed by volunteers, depending on the project.
- Some of the FM tasks are legal requirements, which all organisations will need to address
- Playing music, serving food and alcohol and performances all have specific licensing requirements
- Providing activities and space for children and vulnerable adults involves addressing specific requirements, e.g. The Children’s Act 1989 and 2004
- The Equality Act 2010 requires that employers and service providers do not discriminate against people with disabilities and requires them to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ where necessary
- Insurance is not just required for the physical fabric of the asset and its contents, but also for employees, volunteers and the public
- Adherence to the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations that are in force at the time are required. Technical notes on a range of sport specific safety issues can be obtained by members of the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management
- The Ethical Property Foundation provides good advice on managing and maintaining community assets for not for profit organisations.