Kidsbrook Sports Centre

Kidsgrove Sports Centre Community Group is a CIO set up to save and then re-open Kidsgrove Sports Centre. Following extensive refurbishment the sports centre re-opened in 2022 and is now operated by the charity. Through the charitable community ownership model, every penny spent in the centre gets reinvested. Back into the Centre and back into the community. No shareholders. No profit-making. Just local community facilities for all.

4.5 Years
Cost of capital
Amount invested
Product type
Unsecured loan (incl. overdrafts)


Leisure centres, particularly those that are older and costly to operate are being closed as local authority budgets are placed under increasing pressure.

When their local leisure centre was closed and earmarked for demolition the local community set up Kidsgrove Sports Centre Community Group to save the building and re-open it under community ownership.


Following a community campaign to save the sports centre, the building was fully refurbished by the local council who lease the building to the charity who operate it.

The Sporting Capital loan was provided to support the costs of the fitness gym equipment.

The charity has reinstated a key sports facility following 5 years of no local provision. The centre provides the local community with access to affordable leisure to remain physically active. The sports centre has a swimming pool, fitness gym, sports hall, spinning and dance studios, and meeting rooms.


Income is generated from memberships, class income, swimming lessons and hire of facilities by community groups which are used to help subsidise community initiatives.


  • 45,000 visits per year 
  • c.1,000 children taught to swim
  • 300% increase in local community participation
  • 200% increase in local mental health and well-being
  • Trained over 15 volunteers as part of the community lifeguarding scheme
  • Provision of a community warm space
  • Provision of community space for enabling local banking to remain within the town
  • Provision of internet facilities providing a digital hub and place of access for the community

“The charity worked so hard to re-open the facility and it was great to be a part of making the facility what is it today, a flourishing community asset open for all”.

Jemma Leathley, Investment Manager 

“The investment from Sporting Capital was a key part of the funding package to re-open the facility, without it we wouldn’t have been able to open the fitness gym which is a key revenue source for the charity.”

Dave Rigby, Trustee at Kidsgrove Sports Centre