Financial strain for sports club

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A TOWN sports club is £2,000 in debt after being forced to pay ‘crippling’ business rates for the past two years.

Due to changes in legislation Mayfield Park Sports Club, based on the Timken estate, was told in April 2010 that its rates would increase from £1 to a whopping £2,800 per year.

The club is used by around 450 people and houses football teams, a bowls club, a tots group and a photographic society.

Treasurer Dave Symonds said: “It was decided that because we have a bar we are classed as a business and therefore have to pay business rates.

“At the time we were told by Daventry District Council (DDC) that we could get an 80 per cent reduction if we became registered under CASC (The Community Amateur Sports Club Scheme)

“We applied but have got nowhere and have been told by Inland Revenue there is a long queue of applications.

“We are paying the first year’s rates over five years but obviously we now have the current year’s costs to contend with too.

“We are doing our best and relying on donations from committee members – some have given us up to £300, but that can’t go on forever. We are also £2,000 in debt from money we have borrowed from members.The heating system needs fixing and we need to do some redecorating but the rates are absolutely crippling us.

“We would ideally like to meet an official from the council to discuss these issues.”

Revenues and benefits manager at DDC Alison Harris said: “Business rates are not set by DDC, we collect them on behalf of the Government.

“While DDC is committed to providing support and financial relief to charitable organisations in the district we are unable to make exceptions for individual cases.

“We understand that Mayfield Sports Park has not yet registered as a CASC. Obviously things will be reviewed should their circumstances change.”