In 1987, Bournemouth Sports Club disposed of the Kinson freehold site and bought the Chapel Gate site from the Barclays Bank – reinvesting almost the whole of the profits from the sale in first class sporting facilities.
The new complex was fully opened in October 1989, and at that time was made up mainly of grassed areas for the provision of archery, football, cricket, hockey and rugby – other facilities in 1989 included tennis courts and one large synthetic turf area for hockey. Since 1989, the site has seen the arrival of dedicated indoor facilities for riffle shooting, table tennis and squash in a purpose-built grounds complex.
As early as 2000, the traditional members club structure started to fragment as players in individual sections became increasingly loyal to their chosen sport rather than the over-arching membership structure. The difficulty in finding volunteers to serve on committees which is prevalent throughout the UK not for profit sector began to manifest itself at the club where the same people were approached year after year to carry out duties as Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
The burden and legal responsibility for filling these roles cannot be underestimated and Bournemouth Sports Club will be forever grateful to those volunteers, who for so long have worked tirelessly to maintain Chapel Gate for the generations of the future.
In early 2008, and prompted by gloomy financial forecasts, a group of eight volunteers formed a new Executive Committee that injected new life into the management of the club. By mid-2008, a new general manager was managing the day-to-day operations and the club started to see significant differences in the operating model and financial forecasts.
The freehold of the Chapel Gate site is still wholly owned by Bournemouth Sports Club Ltd (Company #246917) and the Board of Management still represents each of the major tenant sections. The Board of Management also approves the appointment of the Directors of the Ltd Company who meet once a year to approve the accounts.
By accepting that the club needed to work on a commercial basis to create stability in financial terms and secure a realistic future for the site, the new management team opened up many more opportunities and predictions for the site became much more optimistic.
We welcome in new sporting and business users each which will help to create a fully inclusive international sporting venue.
This is Chapel Gate, welcome to our future!