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Using the SATC

What are the benefits of using the SATC?

The SATC serves some essential functions for Scout Units.

It offers an easy and accessible alternative to help Units retain their interest in their land. As Units are created as unincorporated charities, and not established as companies, they are unable to hold property in their name. Units must appoint trustees to do this on their behalf. Trustees can be either local individuals or a company like the SATC.

If Units appoint local individuals, they are referred to as 'Holding Trustees' and Units will need to appoint at least two (and no more than four). It is recommended that Holding Trustees, who will be cited as parties in any land transaction, are not members of the Executive Committee of the Unit.

Holding Trustees will be entitled to be indemnified by the Unit against any liabilities arising, such as unpaid rents or repairs. Units often find it challenging to find and appoint local Holding Trustees.

When Units lose a locally appointed Holding Trustee, they can face prolonged and expensive administrative processes to replace them and rectify documents. As the SATC holds title in its company name, Units are not faced with such an administrative burden.


Using the SATC as a trustee

The SATC offers continuity and reassurance to Units with safe, secure and centralised storage of their conveyances, leases and deeds. If documents are retained locally, there is a risk that they may be lost. The SATC offers a centralised system regardless of any changes to local volunteers/personnel.

The Unit retains all management responsibility for running itself and any decisions regarding its land. The SATC's limited role is merely holding title to the land as Custodian Trustee.

As Custodian Trustee

As Managing Trustees

Approximately 95% of Units with land interests appoint the SATC.


How much does it cost to appoint the SATC?

The current SATC acceptance fee is £500 +VAT or £450 +VAT (if a Unit’s property/land is insured through Scout Insurance Services Limited).

This represents a very fair contribution towards the costs of the administrative work necessary on any given matter throughout its life, including the safe custody of documents for many years.

The fee is payable each time a Unit appoints the SATC, for example once for each given freehold title but each time a lease or licence is renewed. To save costs, the SATC encourages Units to secure as long a term lease as possible, subject to the terms of the Lease being fair. Many of the Leases are for 20 years or more, so a review of your premises either when a new lease is agreed, or a lease renewed is needed to make sure you can comply with your obligations going forward. The SATC questionnaire assists you in this regard.

Are there any other SATC fees or costs?

In addition to the acceptance fee, the SATC also charges standard administration charges for other land transactions that may be necessary, such as granting leases or licences by the Scout Unit, other deeds or agreements, dealing with easements or build agreements, sale of land or the surrender of leases or licences. Fee amounts are available on enquiry.

Does the SATC handle all matters relating to a Unit’s land?

The SATC fees do not cover negotiating the terms of sales, contracts, leases or similar nor the conveyancing or registration of title of your property. This is because, in its Custodian role, the SATC must remain distinct throughout and cannot represent or act as solicitor for Units. The responsibility for the management of premises or land remains with the Executive Committee, only you will possess the necessary local knowledge to enter into the relevant negotiations. The local solicitors who handle the transaction are better placed to advise, undertake the conveyancing and register the title of the property.

Whenever you are budgeting, do take into account the need for professional services when you need a new lease or when you are our purchasing or disposing of property.

In operating as a charity, the Association is only able to provide limited legal services which are free of charge to its Units through the Scout Association Legal Services Department. As there are approximately 8,500 Scout Units across England and Wales, the Legal Department is not logistically able to enter into negotiations or act as solicitor on behalf of Units or individual members. Accordingly, we are not able to advise you in-depth. Our strength is in giving outline advice, by assessing the complexity of the issues presented and offering possible next steps. Where we can offer no quick resolution, we will signpost you to seek local professional advice.

Where the Scout Association Legal Department are considering any transaction concerning SATC they are acting exclusively for SATC, they, therefore, cannot advise the Scout Group. In such circumstances it is essential you employ your own legal advisors from the outset. In any event, we discourage you from tieing yourself up in red tape, as it is often a false economy. When seeking advice from local professionals, bear in mind that many will discount their services for the Scouts if requested, and some may have a connection with your Scout Group and undertake their services for a minimal charge.

How can you appoint the SATC?

For more information about appointing the SATC please contact us at trust.corporation@scout.org.uk or write to us at The SATC, Gilwell park, Chingford, London E4 7QW.

Some standard procedures required for appointing the SATC

Here are some standard SATC procedures often requested by Scout Units. These are provided as a general guide. Please note, as each matter will be different, you are advised to contact the SATC for further information regarding your particular matter.

1. Procedure for appointing the SATC for the first time (freehold land)

2. Procedure for appointing the SATC for the first time (lease)

3. Procedure for reappointing the SATC for renewal lease


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW