About Us

About Us

How the CBS has come about, what it will do, how it will work and what happens next.

How has the CBS come about?

The CBS (Community Benefit Society) has emerged from discussions between the Football Supporters Association, Frome Town Council, the current club Frome Town AFC, and dedicated volunteers from the wider community. 

In August 2022, Frome Town Council stepped in to secure the football ground as a community asset but it had no intention of running a football club. There were debts of over 350k and a real threat that the football ground and all its facilities could have been sold and lost to Frome. 

A large community meeting in October 2022 attended by over 125 people, gave a resounding “yes” to set up a Community Benefit Society to secure the future of the Badgers Hill ground and take the club into community ownership. The intent is not only to secure the site and provide a home for football in Frome, but to ensure that the site is  enhanced to reflect the needs of the wider community.

The Town Council launched a community survey to help the CBS better understand what the community wants from the site and from football in Frome. View a summary of the survey results.

Following the community meeting in October, attendees were invited to join a steering group, which split up into three working groups: the facilities groups; the community engagement group; and the governance group.

The facilities group worked closely with Frome Town Council and the club to explore how the use of the ground could be developed; the Community Group looked at how the wider community could benefit; and the governance group focused on setting up the new CBS.

The Governance group has registered the new CBS, and is now calling  for more community involvement from those with the skills, experience and enthusiasm to make a difference to Frome Town Football Club and develop the facilities it uses for the benefit of all. – apply now to join the team.

Join our newsletter if you want to stay informed and maybe even become a member of the new society.

What will it do?

The long-term purpose and focus of the CBS will ultimately depend on the new lease conditions agreed with FTC (i.e., what they will expect from the CBS in return for giving a lease for the grounds) and the priorities that the membership put forward. It will also depend on how the CBS and Frome Town FC (FTFC) intend to work together. This is currently under discussion. 

There are three core objectives that the CBS will focus on to start with – develop the facilities and ground, help develop football in Frome, and create broader community benefit. 

1. Develop the facilities & ground

It is intended the CBS will  take on the lease of the site, with some kind of sub-lease or partnership with Frome Town FC (FTFC). Therefore, a priority arises to look after the site and develop it. In the short term (next season), it will need to work together with FTC and FTFC to address the results of recent risk assessments and building surveys. In the medium-term, an exciting piece of work will be launched to create an improvement plan for the site, which will be the foundation for raising funds. Work has already started to submit bids to release grant monies for this work.

2. Develop football in Frome

Football is at the heart of the site and the CBS mission. In the short term, the key objective needs to be to enable FTFC Men’s 1st team, Women’s 1st team, and development team(s), to have a good start to the next season with a workable budget. Equality and diversity will be key conditions of any lease from the Town Council. This will ensure that the asset and the CBS concentrate on the benefits of all football in Frome across gender, ages and ability. 

The CBS’ role in developing football in Frome will not be to run the teams. There seems to be a consensus that at the moment all teams want their independence . Collaboration needs to develop slowly, and the Men’s 1st team, Women’s 1st team, and development team(s) have already made much progress in working together. The role of the CBS should be to facilitate further collaboration between teams, develop player pathways and to assure that footballing facilities across Frome meet the needs of all teams. Through this collaboration new funding streams should become available ensuring new possibilities to employ football for the good of the community . 

3. Create Broader Community benefit

There is a shared understanding that the asset needs to benefit people in Frome beyond the current teams and their fans. This objective is likely to be enshrined in any lease agreement with Frome Town Council, a condition of any funding received and is part of the CBS constitution.

In the short term, it is proposed that the CBS should aim to initiate activities that represent a win-win for the football teams and the wider community. For example, Community Tickets (similar to the scheme run at the community-owned club Lewes FC), enable food bank users to get a free ticket, meal and a pint. The tickets are bought by fans or via crowdfunding, and besides their social benefit, also generate income for the teams. Similarly, enhancing community use of the clubhouse will bring in new people and raise the profile of all activities happening on the site. In the longer term, the feasibility of using the site for other sports and community activities can be explored as part of a facilities development plan.

How will it work, what will happen next and why are YOU needed?

The CBS will work democratically based on its Articles of Association – the details are here. 

Basically, people from around Frome and the football community will be able to join as members. At an annual AGM, members can vote for directors who will run the organisation on their behalf, and directors will engage the members in decisions that are made. 

The governance group that has set up the CBS is now looking to recruit and expand their operational team. To see more go to our join our board page. where you can apply – applications are open until April 2nd 2023. This team of volunteers will work together over the next 6 months to achieve the three objectives above. Priority tasks will include:

  • Negotiating a lease agreement for the site with Frome Town Council
  • Working with Frome Town FC to their relationship and how it will work together 
  • Working with all other local teams to explore how to collaborate and benefit football across the whole of Frome. 
  • Applying for funding for repairs and site development
  • Preparing a ‘members offer’ and the first AGM to involve the wider community. Join our newsletter to stay up to date.