The Trust has simplified its legal status. It used to be both a registered charity and a non-profit-distributing company limited by guarantee. This meant it had reporting obligations to both the Charity Commission and Companies House. The Charity Commission instituted a new type of registration for small charities such as ours and we resolved to adopt that at the AGM last September (2020). With effect from 7 April 2021 the Trust is now designated as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and we only have to report to the Charity Commission.
As far as members are concerned there will be no discernible difference, but it does simplify considerably our reporting obligations and removes the costs involved in preparing accounts for Companies House. The process of converting our status was quite bureaucratic and I am particularly indebted to our Treasurer, Malcolm Reed, and Trustee Michael Hurlow for the technical assistance they provided to ensure a successful conversion.
Trustees had hoped that this would be the opportunity to update some of the language in our governing document that dates from 1942 and is based on the Companies Act of 1929. Unfortunately this was not permitted at the same time as changing our status, so we shall seek to carry out the updating at a later date, probably through a resolution at the next AGM that we hope can be held in September.