The football academy and training ground of Derby County has been declared an asset of community value. In the event of a sale of the property, Rams Trust, the supporters’ trust for Derby County, will be able to bid for it.
For the first time a training ground in the country has been granted the status which could lead to other trusts following the example of RamsTrust.
Robin Osterley, chief executive of Supporters Direct, said: “Supporters Direct is delighted to acknowledge the incredibly hard work of the RamsTrust in getting their training ground listed as an Asset of Community Value. We hope this will set a major precedent for community-based clubs and their trusts, and we looking forward to doing what we can to help this process along.”
Earlier this year, Rams Trust submitted an application to Erewash Borough Council for its football academy and training ground to be declared an asset of community value. With the application being successful, the site has now been listed in accordance with the 2011 Localism Act. Thus any attempts to dispose of the property, other than as a gift, inheritance, mortgage default, insolvency, death, court order of business transfer will result in a moratorium placed on it. In this case RamsTrust will be offered the opportunity to bid for it.
RamsTrust was set up in 2002 to help strengthen the club’s ties with the local community. The trust works with its members, as well as Derby County executives and board, to build the club into a world class sporting institution. The trust currently has 800 members, including some celebrities: Robert Lindsay, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Simon Groome, author Wendy Holden, celebrity chef Silvana Franco, Dame Margaret Beckett MP, Chris Williamson MP and Lord Pendry.
RamsTrust chair Jim Wheeler said: “We are very excited about this achievement and setting a precedent for football clubs’ training grounds. The Ipro Stadium was successfully listed as an ACV earlier this year and this is a unique double.”
The Localism Act provides communities the right to bid for assets of community value when the owner of a listed asset wants to sell it. Once the local authority has been informed of the intent to sell, it must notify community interest groups who then have six weeks to lodge a non-binding expression of interest and a total of six months to develop a bid and raise the capital required for the purchase of the asset. However, the owner can choose to sell the asset for less than the community bid after the six months have expired.