Community interest company

A community interest company (CIC) is a type of company introduced by the United Kingdom government in 2005 under the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004, designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good.[1] CICs are intended to be easy to set up, with all the flexibility and certainty of the company form, but with some special features to ensure they are working for the benefit of the community. They have proved popular and some 10,000 registered in the status's first 10 years.[2]

As social enterprise

A community interest company is a business with primary social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. CICs tackle a wide range of social and environmental issues and operate in all parts of the economy. By using business solutions to achieve public good, it is believed that CICs have a distinct and valuable role to play in helping create a strong, sustainable and socially inclusive economy.[3]

The community interest company emerged from a number of sources, many citing the absence in the UK of a company form for not-for-profit social enterprises similar to the public benefit corporation in the USA. One early notable proposal was advanced in 2001 by the Public Management Foundation in "The case for the public interest company"[4], based on research supported by the Gulbenkian Foundation, Gordon Roddick and the Office for Public Management.

CICs are diverse. They include social and community enterprises, social firms, mutual organisations such as co-operatives, and large-scale organisations operating locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

Legal forms and social objectives

CICs must be limited companies of one form or another. A CIC cannot be a charity, an IPS or an unincorporated organisation.

Regular limited liability companies that do not have charitable status find it difficult to ensure that their assets are dedicated to public benefit. There is no simple, clear way of locking assets of such a company to a public benefit purpose other than applying for charitable status. The community interest company is intended to meet this need.

When a CIC is requested, the CIC regulator considers whether applications meet the criteria to become a CIC. If satisfied, the regulator advises the registrar in Companies House who, provided that all the documents are in order, will issue a certificate of incorporation as a CIC.

A charity can convert to a CIC with the consent of the Charity Commission. In so doing it will lose its charitable status including tax advantages. A charity may own a CIC, in which case the CIC would be permitted to pass assets to the charity. CICs are more lightly regulated than charities but do not have the benefit of charitable status, even if their objects are entirely charitable in nature.

Those who may want to set up a CIC are expected to be philanthropic entrepreneurs who want to do good in a form other than charity. This may be because:

  • CICs are specifically identified with social enterprise. Some organisations may feel that this is more suitable than charitable status.
  • Members of the board of a charity may only be paid where the constitution contains such a power and it can be considered to be in the best interests of the charity. It means that, in general, the founder of a social enterprise who wishes to be paid cannot be on the board and must give up strategic control of the organisation to a volunteer board, which is often unacceptable. This limitation does not apply to CICs.
  • They are looking to work for community benefit with the relative freedom of the non-charitable company form to identify and adapt to circumstances, but with a clear assurance of not-for-profit distribution status.
  • The definition of community interest that applies to CICs is wider than the public interest test for charity.[5]

Formation and registration

Formation and registration are similar to that of any limited company. New organisations can register by filing the Form IN01 and memorandum and articles of association together with a form CIC36 signed by all their directors, explaining their community credentials, to the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales, or the Registrar for Scotland, with a fee of £35. Since 11 March 2019, CICs can be registered online for a reduced fee of £27.[6]

Existing companies can convert to a CIC by passing resolutions which make changes to their name and to their memorandum and articles of association and by delivering to the Registrar of Companies copies of these documents, together with a fee for £35, and a form CIC37 (which is similar to a CIC36, but asks for confirmation that the company is not a charity, or that permission has been obtained from the Charity Commission to convert from a charity to a CIC). The Registrar will conduct the normal checks for registration and pass the papers to the Regulator of Community Interest Companies, to determine whether the company satisfies the community interest test.[7]

CICs cannot:

  • be politically motivated (regulation 3 of the Community Interest Company Regulations 2005)
  • be set up to serve an unduly restrictive group (regulations 4 & 5)
  • be a charity
  • carry out unlawful activities.

See also


  1. ^ "What is a CIC?". CIC Association. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  2. ^ "The rise and rise of the community interest company". Third Sector. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  3. ^ Bounds, Andrew (9 July 2013). "Social enterprises seen as driver for growth". Financial Times. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  4. ^ The case for the Public interest company, Paul Corrigan, Jane Steele and Greg Parston, Public Management Foundation, 2001.
  5. ^ Jump, Paul. "How to: Decide between charitable and CIC status". Third Sector. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  6. ^ "CIC Incorporations: The New Online Process". Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  7. ^ "CIC business activities: forms and step-by-step guidelines". GOV.UK.

External links

Brighton Pride

Brighton and Hove Pride is an annual event held in the city of Brighton and Hove, England, organised by Brighton Pride, a community interest company (CIC) who promote equality and diversity, and advance education to eliminate discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The major event is an annual summer festival held in the first week of August, which usually consists of a parade through the city centre, a festival event in Preston Park, the Gay Village Party and other club parties. Since 2013, it has also included an Arts and Film Festival and a Pride Dog Show.

Pride attracts an estimated 450,000 to the city over the Pride weekend across the Pride parade, Preston Park festival and the event brings 2% of the city's annual visitors in one day and an estimated £20.5 million to the city's economy, credited as one of the main ways Brighton has boosted its economy from tourism.

Bristol Ferry Boats

Bristol Ferry Boats is a brand of water bus services operating around Bristol Harbour in the centre of the English city of Bristol, using a fleet of distinctive yellow and blue painted ferry boats. The services were formerly owned by the Bristol Ferry Boat Company, but are now the responsibility of Bristol Community Ferry Boats, a community interest company that acquired the fleet of the previous company.The company operates scheduled ferry services, along with educational and public boat cruises and private hire of boats. Scheduled services operate on two routes linking Bristol city centre to Temple Meads railway station and Hotwells, serving 17 landing stages throughout the length of the harbour, including one at Brunel's famous SS Great Britain. Services are provided on a commercial basis without subsidy and are subject to competition. The company's principal competitor is Number Seven Boat Trips, who operate over similar routes.


Brockdish is a village and civil parish in the South Norfolk district of Norfolk, England. It is 3.53 square miles (910 ha) in size. According to the 2001 census the parish (including Thorpe Abbotts) had a population of 605 in 265 households, the population increasing at the 2011 Census to 681. The village is situated on the River Waveney (south of which is Suffolk), and is about 3 miles (5 km) south-west of Harleston. Like many villages Brockdish has suffered some demise in local business as people work further afield and the bypassing of the village in 1996. The village's second pub (the Greyhound) shut in 2000 leaving one popular pub in the shape of the Old King's Head; the village hall; village school although rated outstanding by Ofsted closed in July 2016 due to low pupil numbers. The school is now being given a new lease of life as the Waveney Heritage Centre by the Waveney Heritage Community Interest Company; stalls selling fresh eggs, vegetables, plants and a small antiques shop.

Brockdish is the highest point on the River Waveney from which canoes and kayaks can access the water, the entry point being at the foot of the common.

Canterbury City F.C.

Canterbury City Football Club is a football club based in Canterbury, Kent, England. They are currently members of the Southern Counties East League Premier Division and play at Faversham Town's Salters Lane ground. Affiliated to the Kent County Football Association, the club reformed in 2007 and were the first football club to be formed as a community interest company.

Civic Trust Awards

Civic Trust Awards is a Community Interest Company founded in June 2009 following the closure of the Civic Trust charity earlier that year. Civic Trust Awards continued the annual awards scheme independently.

Development trust

Development trusts are organisations operating in the United Kingdom that are:

community based, owned and led

engaged in the economic, environmental and social regeneration of a defined area or community

independent but seek to work in partnership with other private, voluntary, and public sector organisations

self-sufficient or aiming for self-sufficiency, and not for private profit.There is no set form of legal structure, and a development trust may be registered as a company limited by guarantee, a community interest company, or an industrial and provident society. Many register as charities.

The activities undertaken by development trusts are various and include:

running the local shop and post office

developing play park and recreational facilities

managing a housing development

developing renewable energy projects such as wind farms

setting up training programmes.They are informed by a belief that community regeneration that is achieved through community-owned enterprise is the way to build strong and sustainable communities.

There are over 500 development trusts throughout the UK. The Development Trusts Association (DTA) was formed in 1993 to coordinate them in England. The mission of the DTA was “to bring about a successful development trust in every community that wants one”.

In January 2011 the DTA announced that they were merging with the British Association of Settlements and Social Action Centres and that a new joint organisation for England would be called Locality.

A new organisation for Northern Ireland was also established, joining the existing sister organisations in Wales and Development Trusts Association Scotland.

Fancy's Family Farm

Fancy's Family Farm is a community farm and tourist attraction on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. The farm is situated at the ex-Portland ROTOR Radar Station, in the Verne area. The community farm acts as a children's farm and educational facility. It is a community interest company, relying entirely on donations.

Good Homes Alliance

The Good Homes Alliance (GHA) was established in 2007 and now has over 70 members that include, architects, planners, developers, universities, local authorities, urban designers, consultants, building professionals and suppliers whose aim is to build and promote sustainable homes and communities and to transform the whole of mainstream UK house building into a sustainable endeavour.It is a not for profit Community Interest Company with a board of Directors.

Members subscribe to a charter for responsible housebuilding containing seven principles.

The GHA considers the following actions are necessary to help bring a quality focus back to new housing:

New UK wide near-zero carbon targets for new homes should be re-implemented with a new trajectory and timetable

Housebuilders and Renewable Energy developers must work together to develop new cost effective strategies to meet the new carbon reduction targets

The Building Regulations Part L and F should be reviewed

The compliance system based on SAP and EPCs is not fit for purpose and a new system is required that addresses energy demand reduction targets and post-construction verification

The skills needed to achieve quality construction must be embedded at every stage from concept to completion and for all disciplines, trades and professions

The Quality Control process at every stage from concept to completion must be tightened up and improved

Inhabitants health and wellbeing must be embedded in all aspects of the design and construction processIn addition to promotion of member projects and inititatives the Alliance is involved in education (through seminars, research, and information sharing), lobbying Government and land owners to encourage better quality housing standards via regulation, legislation and specifications, and raising awareness of sustainable development in the media and among the general public.

It also organises specialist cross sector working groups and currently (July 2017) runs the following: alternative housing delivery models; overheating solutions in new housing; zero energy buildings.

Investors in People

Investors in People is a standard for people management, offering accreditation to organisations that adhere to the Investors in People Standard. From 1991 to January 2017, Investors in People was owned by the UK government. As of 1 February 2017, Investors in People transitioned into the Investors in People Community Interest Company. Investors in People assessments are conducted locally through local Delivery Centres across the UK and internationally.

MV Glenachulish

MV Glenachulish is a ferry operating a summer service between Glenelg and Kylerhea, on the Isle of Skye. Built in 1969, she is the last manually operated turntable ferry in the world.

Malton, North Yorkshire

Malton is a market town, civil parish and electoral ward in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, the town is the location of the offices of Ryedale District Council and has a population of around 13,000 people, measured for both the civil parish and the electoral ward at the 2011 Census as 4,888.It is located to the north of the River Derwent which forms the historic boundary between the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire.

Facing Malton on the other side of the Derwent is Norton. The Karro Food Group (formerly known as Malton Bacon Factory), Malton bus station and Malton railway station are located in Norton-on-Derwent.

Malton is the local area's commercial and retail centre. In the town centre there are small traditional independent shops and high street names. The market place has recently become a meeting area with a number of coffee bars and cafés opening all day to complement the public houses.

Malton was voted one of the best places to live in Britain by The Sunday Times in both the 2017 and 2018 lists.


Michaelston-y-Fedw (Welsh: Llanfihangel-y-fedw) is a small rural village and community to the west of the city of Newport, Wales, on the borders of Cardiff city and Caerphilly county boroughs.

The name, which is a partial Anglicization of the Welsh Llanfihangel-y-fedw – meaning "church enclosure (of) Michael (in) the birches" – may also be seen spelt "Michaelstone-y-Fedw", "Michaelston-y-Vedw" and "Michaelstone-y-Vedw", the parish church being dedicated to Saint Michael.

There is a local pub called the Cefn Mably Arms. It first opened in 1824. Since 2017, the local vicar blesses the beer, the public house and the village entire in a special, public ceremony.

The community is bounded by the Rhymney River to the west, the A48(M) motorway to the south, and the Pound Hill road to the north and east. It contains Michaelston itself as well as a small cluster of houses known as Michaelstone Bridge about a mile to the north.

On 25th June 2018 the village became the first community in Wales to create its own fibre network, connecting homes and businesses to the Internet with fibre to the premises, giving each a connection speed of 1Gbps, and became known as ‘The Fastest Village in Wales’. The network was designed and installed by volunteers from the community.

On 19th November 2018 Michaelston-y-Fedw Internet CIC (MyFi, the community interest company set up to run the fibre broadband project in the village) was awarded the European Broadband Award for Innovative Models of Financing, Business and Investment.


Moorsbus is a network of bus services operating to and around the North York Moors National Park and surrounding areas. It was operated from the 1980s by the North York Moors National Park Authority, and linked places such as Malton, Teesside, Thirsk, York and Hull to the National Park.

The Moorsbus connected those in major towns and cities in the region with the picturesque villages and attractions of the National Park on Sundays and Bank Holidays when there were no other public transport services. The network ceased operation at the end of October 2013 following severe budgetary constraints for the North York Moors National Park Authority, its sponsor.A new but much reduced service ran on summer Sundays and Bank Holidays in 2014 after a campaign by Friends of Moorsbus. East Yorkshire Motor Services ran a service from Hull to Danby via Beverley and Pickering, and the Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company, on behalf of the Moorsbus Community Interest Company, ran the Moors Rambler from Darlington to Pickering via Middlesbrough and Guisborough.In 2015, East Yorkshire Motor Services started their Sunday/Bank holiday service on 3 April, whilst Moorsbus Community Interest Company ran two buses, covering Darlington, Teesside, Saltburn, Redcar, Guisborough, Northallerton, Thirsk, Kirkbymoorside, Helmsley and Pickering, from 5 July.

In 2016 Moorsbus Community Interest Company is operating three buses. One route runs from Darlington via Stockton, Middlesbrough, Guisborough and Danby to Pickering (as in previous years). The service from Saltburn and Redcar operates via Guisborough, Stokesley, Northallerton and Thirsk with a new route via Coxwold, Byland Abbey and Ampleforth to Helmsley. An additional bus (provided by Ryedale Community Transport) runs from Malton, Pickering and Kirkbymoorside to provide a shuttle between Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey, with 3 return trips from Helmsley to Sutton Bank Visitor Centre.

Funding for the services comes from fares, but with a substantial contribution from parish and town councils, individual passengers, Ryedale District Council, the North York Moors National Park Authority and the North Yorkshire Moors Association.

Private company limited by guarantee

In British and Irish company law, a company limited by guarantee (LBG) is an alternative type of corporation used primarily for non-profit organisations that require legal personality. A company limited by guarantee does not usually have a share capital or shareholders, but instead has members who act as guarantors. The guarantors give an undertaking to contribute a nominal amount (typically very small) in the event of the winding up of the company.A company limited by guarantee can distribute its profits to its members, if allowed to by its articles of association, but then it would not be eligible for charitable status. Limited companies can convert to a community interest company (CIC) which feature an asset lock which prevents the extraction of profits.

Like a private company limited by shares, a company limited by guarantee must include the suffix "Limited" in its name, except in circumstances specifically excluded by law. One condition of this exclusion is that the company does not distribute profits. Until 1981, it was possible in the United Kingdom to form a company limited by guarantee with share capital. Under section 5 of the Companies Act 2006, new companies cannot be formed as a company limited by guarantee with a share capital.

When incorporating multi-stakeholder organisations, this form is sometimes preferred over the industrial and provident society because company law allows multiple classes of member with separate voting constituencies.

Sikh Channel

The Sikh Channel is a United Kingdom-based, free-to-air, Sikhi-focused satellite television channel. It broadcasts across Europe on satellite television, in Canada and is also streamed live on the internet. The Sikh Channel began to broadcast on 13 April 2009 on Sky channel 840, replacing Brit Hits. The Sikh Channel primarily focuses on education and religious programming for the Sikh community. It operates from a studio in the Aston area of Birmingham.

The Sikh Channel was set up by Davinder Singh Bal's and Gursevak Singh Shergill in April 2009 TV Legal Limited. TV Legal formed The Sikh Channel Community Broadcasting Company Limited to accept donations, which are used to pay broadcast and programming costs. The Sikh Channel Community Broadcasting Company Limited became a registered community interest company on 25 September 2009 and a registered charity on 2 June 2010. In December 2012, TV Legal Limited transferred the channel's television broadcast licence to the Sikh Channel Community Interest Company Limited.On 18 April 2013, the channel launched in Canada as "ATN Sikh Channel" through an exclusive licensing agreement with the Asian Television Network

Stanley Street Quarter

The Stanley Street Quarter (sometimes Liverpool Gay Quarter or Village) is an area within Liverpool City Centre, England, which serves as the main focal point for Liverpool's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. It is made up of mixed use developments including residential blocks, hotels, bars, nightclubs and various other businesses, many of which cater for the LGBT community. The quarter is also one of the sites where the annual Liverpool Pride is held.

The neighbourhood encompasses Stanley Street, Davies Street, Cumberland Street, Sir Thomas Street, Dale Street, Temple Street & Lane, Victoria Street, Hackins Hey, Leather Lane and Eberle Street. Stanley Street has often been seen as the symbolic heart of the 'gay quarter' and is where a large number of the bars are found.

On 12 August 2011, Liverpool City Council officially recognised the area as the city's 'gay quarter', and on 6 December 2013, City Council Cabinet members took the decision to endorse a dedicated Community interest company to further the development of the quarter and access funding which the local authority would otherwise be unable to. It will become active from the beginning of 2014.

Stenhousemuir F.C.

Stenhousemuir Football Club is a Scottish football club located in Stenhousemuir, Falkirk. They are a member of the Scottish Professional Football League and currently play in Scottish League One.

Through much of its history the team has competed in the lower leagues of Scottish football, most recently being promoted to Scottish League One in 2018 via the play-offs one year after being relegated to League Two.

In September 2009, Stenhousemuir Football Club, Ltd. was re-registered as a Community Interest Company.

The Big Lemon

The Big Lemon is a bus and coach operator in Brighton, East Sussex. It is registered as a Community Interest Company.

Weymouth Pavilion

The Weymouth Pavilion, formerly the Ritz, is a theatre in Weymouth, Dorset. The complex contains a 988-seat theatre, 600 (maximum) capacity ballroom known as the Ocean Room, the Piano Bar restaurant, Ritz Cafe and other function and meeting rooms.The original pavilion, constructed in 1908, was destroyed in a fire in 1954 and the current theatre was built in its place in 1958. It was owned and operated by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council until 2013 and is now operated by a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. The theatre is located at the end of The Esplanade between Weymouth Harbour and Weymouth Beach. The Jurassic Skyline is also located in this area.

Ethics and

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