Complex new sports structure awarded Charitable status

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The Office of the Scottish Regulator (OSCR) has awarded charitable status to Raeburn Place Foundation.  This was on the basis that:

    1. the Foundation will undertake only charitable activities, including providing financial support and facilities to advance public participation in sport and the establishment of a rugby heritage museum; and
    2. the commercial and non-charitable activities on the site will be managed by a non-charitable trading subsidiary, Raeburn Place Development Ltd and all profits will be transferred to the Foundation and applied for exclusively charitable purposes.

OSR’s assessment of the registration application focused on what activities the charity plans to undertake and how the charity intends to provide public benefit.  Conceding that the structure of the charity is somewhat unusual, it concluded that the public benefit which the Foundation intends to provide depends on the success of its trading subsidiary.

OSCR considered the risk that the new facilities could be built using charitable funds invested by the Foundation and, in the event that the business model failed to produce the projected revenue, the public benefit dependent on this income might not materialise.  However, OSCR accepted what appeared to be well-developed financial projections provided by the Foundation in good faith.