Centenary Fields FAQs
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You can find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below.
If your query isn't answered below please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you.
1) What is the initiative all about?
- The Centenary Fields programme aims to protect at least one green space in every local authority area across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to commemorate the centenary of World War I (WWI). These protected sites will be war memorial parks or recreation grounds, sports clubs over 100 years old, memorial gardens, parks and recreation grounds that contain war memorials, or other valued green spaces. Safeguarding these sites will create a living UK-wide legacy in commemoration of the sacrifice made by those who lost their lives in WWI. Fields in Trust is working in partnership with the Royal British Legion to deliver the programme.
2) Who are you targeting with this initiative?
- Fields in Trust and The Royal British Legion hope that the whole of the UK will support this initiative. Phase One of the campaign started in April 2014 when all first tier local authorities were asked to protect at least one suitable field in their area. Phase Two, which began in November 2014, introduced Town and Parish Councils to the programme. Phase Three, launched in June 2015 by Sir Clive Woodward at Twickenham, is inviting sports clubs to be part of the programme.
3) What are the criteria for sports clubs to be involved in the Programme?
- Sports clubs eligible to apply are those that have been in existence for more than 100 years, and that had some members who fought in WWI. The clubs will either own their own land, or have a lease of 99 years or more, in order to be able to protect their ground. An alternative model is where a sports club has a shorter lease on someone else's land, for example a local authority or Town or Parish Council, and the landowner agrees to protect the site. All clubs accepted into the programme will have an open membership policy.
4) Are there any additional criteria or requirements?
- Each application will be assessed through a site visit but as a minimum, the following criteria must be met:
- The Landowner (or leaseholder with at least 99 years’ tenure) of the site must complete the application form
- Evidence of ownership, and where relevant freehold interest must be produced
- The principal use should be outdoor sport, recreation or play. However, sites can also include facilities such as pavilions, village halls, indoor leisure or heritage facilities that are established for community recreational purposes
- Sites should be accessible in terms of location and affordability for the local community
- Sites should have local managers who are responsible for the quality of the facilities, maintenance and development, improving participation and financial and operational sustainability
- The Landowner must be able to sign the agreed Deed of Dedication within six months of submitting an application
5) What are the benefits for sports clubs as part of the Centenary Fields Programme?
- Our method of dedication is low-cost and compatible with most recreational land whether it be charitable or not and is normally complementary to any existing covenants protecting land. Sites safeguarded with us can access benefits including:
- Access to grant funding opportunities
- Free support materials for community events and fun days - Centenary Have a Field Day
- Long term protection for your sports facility with flexibility built in (there is no change to ownership or management)
- Opportunity to submit nominations for the annual Fields in Trust Awards, held each year at Lord's Cricket Ground
- Free commemorative plaque/signage
6) Why should sports clubs get involved with this initiative?
- Dedicating a Centenary Field is a fitting way for sports clubs to mark the centenary of WWI by commemorating the sacrifice of their members who lost their lives in the conflict and ensuring that their community benefits now and in the future from a protected green space.
7) What is the process for protecting a sports club as a Centenary Field?
- The first stage in the process is for the landowner (sports club or local authority) to complete an application form and this will be followed by a site visit, after which the landowner will be told whether the site is accepted as a Centenary Field or not. If the site is accepted the legal process then starts and sites will be protected via a deed of dedication. Fields in Trust will draw up the draft deed and then the landowner has a chance to make amendments. When all parties are satisfied with the deed it will be signed and then registered with the Land Registry. The club will then able to order a Centenary Fields commemorative plaque and can organise an unveiling event.
8) How flexible is the legal part of the process?
- If landowners have any specific requirements Fields in Trust will be happy to discuss these on a case by case basis. We are willing to be flexible over the wording of a particular deed to deal with local need.
9) What are the costs associated with the process of protection of a Centenary Field?
- The costs are as follows:
- Any costs incurred by the applicant for legal and other advice associated with agreeing the deed
- The cost of installing the commemorative plaque – which will be provided free of charge
- The cost of registering the resulting restrictions with the Land Registry – currently £80 for up to three titles
10) Will the specific site always be protected?
- Fields in Trust accepts that on rare occasions communities change and land use changes accordingly. Parts of sites, or very rarely, whole sites can therefore be disposed of provided the disposal is of clear advantage to, and in the best interests of, the community from a recreational perspective. The criteria which Fields in Trust applies to replacement facilities are that they should be of:
- at least equal size
- better quality
- serving the same community in terms of catchment area
- Additionally, and very importantly, such of the proceeds of any disposal must be applied as necessary to provide the replacement land and/or facilities, with, with priority given to outdoor before indoor facilities.
11) What do other sports clubs, that have protected their land with Fields in Trust, say?
- "The objectives of Fields in Trust seem, to the Trustees of Clifton CC, to match our own objective of ensuring that cricket is always played on (our) ground. We also believe that by becoming a 'Field In Trust' we have more chance of attracting funds from outside bodies to help us to enhance our facilities for the benefit of local cricketers and local communities; both today and for many years to come."
Nick Webster, Clifton Cricket Club Trustees, Derbyshire
- "Following a number of years of uncertainty Kendal Cricket Club are now actively working towards building for a sustainable future thanks largely to Sport England funding, the enthusiasm of its members and also the invaluable support received from Fields in Trust. In addition to their help with the Sport England funding Fields in Trust are now exploring other areas in which they can support Club to enable further development of the Shap Road ground, yet more evidence of the new working relationship."
Paul Fearnyough, Kendal Cricket Club, Cumbria
12) Can a club retain its current name or does it have to rename its ground the Centenary Field?
- It is not necessary for the sites involved in the programme to change their names. We are very aware that so many clubs and sites already have names that are instantly recognisable within the community through their long usage. The club/site would acquire Centenary Fields status, and receive and display signage associated with this which would ensure there was no requirement for any actual name change. The Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Fields are a good template for this. Many sports clubs dedicated their grounds as QEII Fields and display their commemorative plaque but retain their existing name.
13) Will protected clubs and sites be provided with any signage to show they are a Centenary Field?
- Every club or site will receive a commemorative plaque to display on the site. The plaques will have provision for the name of the club or site and/or the name of the landowner or the geographical location as applicable.
14) Is there a deadline for applications to the Programme?
- The deadline for applications is 11th November 2018 and all deeds of dedication must be signed by May 2019. Any sites where the deed is not signed by this time will not become Centenary Fields.
15) Is this just an exercise to rename existing fields?
- No absolutely not! Fields in Trust exists to safeguard fields in perpetuity via a legal document called a deed of dedication. Decades of urban development have seen the stock of playing fields reduce substantially and once outdoor recreational spaces are lost to development they are lost for good. Safeguarding sites through the Centenary Fields programme and other Fields in Trust initiatives ensures that more parks, playing fields and other spaces will be available for future generations to enjoy.
16) Will Fields in Trust take over the management of a Centenary Field sports club?
- No, all the sites protected by Fields in Trust are locally managed. Local communities, landowners and users are in a far better position to know how local facilities can best be provided, used and enhanced. All aspects of management and maintenance are determined locally. Fields in Trust's role is custodial and advisory. We see protection by these means as having a light touch but being absolutely effective. We ensure that the fact of protection of these sites is in the public domain and that any change of use or any buildings which fall outside the terms of protection needs our specific advance consent.
17) Is there a limit to the number of applications/successful applicants from a region/area?
- There is no quota per area, and the programme is not competitive between landowners. Each application will be judged against the criteria on its own merits.