Changing our status to a CIO

Public meeting: 7pm on Thursday 1 August in the Village Hall Annex

The Mill project has now entered an important phase. We’re already talking to major companies and funding agencies to help secure up to £1.3 million to build The Mill and, as part of that process, we will need to start entering into contracts with a range of providers, including construction professionals.

At the moment, Cottingham and Middleton Village Hall Trust (Northants)­ – the committee that’s been running the project for over 10 years – is simply a charitable trust. This means that the trust itself can’t employ people, own property or enter into contracts in the trust’s name. Instead, all this has to be done by the trustees themselves as individuals. One of the drawbacks of this is that the trustees could be held personally liable for any costs resulting from a claim, as the claim would be brought against the trustees personally, rather than against the trust itself.

In order to allow the trustees to enter into contracts as a ‘corporate body’, rather than as individuals – and to give them more financial protection – we’re proposing that we dissolve Cottingham and Middleton Village Hall Trust (Northants) and create a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) called ‘The Mill Community Hub’. 

The CIO will be given a new charity number so it’s still a charity registered with and recognised by the Charity Commission, but it will be a separate legal entity that can enter into contracts, hold property and employ people in its own name. The trustees will also have limited liability, similar to the directors of a company.

Changing to a CIO will make moving The Mill project forward a whole lot easier but before we can do this, we need the villagers of Cottingham and Middleton to approve the dissolution of Cottingham and Middleton Village Hall Trust (Northants), as outlined in paragraph 24 of our current constitution (click on this link: Current Trust constitution to view). 

We’re holding a meeting in the Village Hall Annex at 7pm on Thursday 1 August to propose that Cottingham and Middleton Village Hall Trust (Northants) is dissolved. 

Villagers who are resident in Cottingham and Middleton will be invited to vote on this proposal by a show of hands. If two thirds or more of those present vote to dissolve the current trust, the trustees will start the conversion process to a CIO. This could take up to 45 days and if successful, Cottingham and Middleton Village Hall Trust (Northants) will be automatically dissolved by the Charity Commission the moment the new CIO is registered.

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