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The transfer of public leisure facilities towards volunteer delivery

Lookup NU author(s): Deborah Forbes



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


The UK Government deficit reduction plan in May 2010 had an ambitious target ie the “structural” deficit eliminated by 2015, with a reliance on spending cuts to achieve this. To achieve this Local Government is attempting to transfer delivery of leisure services; such as sports facilities and libraries; to volunteers. This paper reports findings from the initial scoping study interviews with volunteer groups; local authority representatives and stakeholders. The cases represent facilities which have experienced a transfer of delivery to volunteers. Initial findings indicate that this is a sensitive area; several issues are not discussed openly or ignored in official advice. We found the transfer to volunteer delivery is not a one size fits all. Issues raised include the role of volunteers; social capital and sustainability.. We propose one way of categorising the transfer towards volunteers is to distinguish between between governance and delivery. This research has indicated the need for a larger study.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Forbes D, Nichols G

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 20th Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference

Year of Conference: 2014

Date deposited: 27/08/2014

Publisher: NCVO / VSSN / IVR