It’s your BMC, and we need your vote

Posted by Alex Messenger on 18/05/2018

Climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are changing. We need your help to shape the future of your BMC.

There’s never been a better time to be a climber, hill walker or mountaineer. It’s never been easier to take part – at walls, on the rock and in the hills and mountains.  We’ve got the most advanced kit ever and technology can do everything we’ve ever dreamed of.

Did you know that more people now go climbing, hill walking and mountaineering than play football? We’re now the fifth biggest participation sport in the UK: with almost 2 million hill walkers, around 100,000 outdoor climbers and 170,000 indoor climbers. 

Your BMC is growing too. We’ve come a long way since 1944, when Geoffrey Winthrop Young – leading climber, mountaineer and president of the Alpine Club – had a vision: to create an organisation, open to everyone, to represent all “mountaineers”.

Nearly 75 years on, we remain true to his values, and consequently our activities are constantly developing: from owning crags to nurturing future talent; from raising over £300,000 to mend mountain footpaths to organising courses to help young people make the move outdoors.

We’re not the same organisation we were in 1944, 1984 or even 2004. As the world moves forward, the BMC needs to evolve to move with it – to stay relevant and speak for everyone with one clear voice.

The latest step in our evolution was an organisational review last year, when an independent panel looked at how well our organisation and decision-making currently worked. They came back with a whole range of recommendations on how we should adapt to continue to meet the needs of over 80,000 members.

Now it’s your turn

This year, we’re asking members to vote on some important changes to our constitution (our Articles of Association: the legal document that sets out what the BMC does and how it operates). These changes stem from the organisational review, and have been developed by the BMC’s National Council in consultation with membership as the best way forward for the organisation.

You can vote on two options: Option A (the formal recommendation of the BMC’s National Council) or Option B (developed by a group of BMC members as their alternative).

Voting for Option A
This is the version formally recommended by the BMC’s National Council and Board of Directors. Their view is that the BMC will be stronger and better by focusing on being an umbrella body for all mountaineers with transparent and clear governance that allows members, volunteers and staff to work collaboratively to ensure the best outcomes for all members. It will clarify organisational decision-making, increase transparency and ensure we comply with company law. It will put in place a high standard of organisational governance (meaning that good decisions are made by, and for, members). Together with our partners in Mountain Training and the climbing wall sector, it will ensure we remain eligible to receive government funding under the Sport England Tier 3 funding stream: the highest level of funding available to us.

READ: The full PDF version here

Voting for Option B
This revised version of the constitution has been developed by a group of BMC members as an alternative which would mean fewer changes to the way the BMC works and would retain a similar representational and decision-making structure to that which has operated within the BMC for the past 20-30 years or more. Under such a structure the BMC would no longer be eligible to apply for Tier 3 funding and our partners in Mountain Training and the climbing wall sector would have to apply for support individually under alternative (Tier 1) funding streams.

READ: The full PDF version here

It’s time to vote

This year, every vote really does count – so please take a few minutes to complete the online form.

In order for a new constitution to be formally agreed, 75% of the votes must be cast in favour of either Options A or B.

The BMC has made its formal recommendation for Option A, and the final decision is up to you – our members.

Have your say – vote today and help set your BMC on the right course for the future.


Your AGM: Thanks for your vote!

This year's historic AGM had a record voting turnout, with 6,796 of those votes being made online. We want to thank everyone for having their say and helping to shape the future of the BMC. 

READ THE FULL REPORT: The BMC's historic 2018 AGM

Detailed info on the BMC AGM 2018

Find out more about the last AGM. It's a complicated topic, so start with this one:

READ: It's your BMC, and we need your vote

We were asking our members to vote on some significant changes to the BMC's constitution. Part of the discussion was the relationship between the BMC and Sport England. 

READ: What are Sport England Tier 3 and Tier 1 relationships?

There were two constitutions to vote for: Proposal A (as recommended by National Council) and Proposal B, proposed by a group of members. To learn more about the two proposals, you can read a detailed comparison written by BMC honorary solictor Martin Wragg.

READ: A comparison of alternative constitutions

How did the recommendations get decided? Read more about the process that lead to this stage, including the reports from the Organisational Review and more. 

READ: BMC Organisational Review reports

Watch the Open Forum debate

We held a debate in Manchester on 15 May for both options to be discussed. You can watch the livestream here:


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