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You may notice a slight change in how we describe ourselves here at Shared Assets. After seven years operating as a Shared Assets Ltd, a company limited by guarantee, we have now transformed ourselves into Shared Assets CIC, a Community Interest Company, still limited by guarantee.
So apart from seeing our name as Shared Assets CIC in the future, what’s changed?
One of the main differences is that we have clearly defined who we exist to benefit, namely:
Our other ‘objects’ are to carry on activities which:
We will now be required to report annually on how we are meeting these objectives and the needs of our community, and how we engage with them. By doing so we aim to be more accountable to the people and organisations managing land for the common good.
Becoming a CIC also ‘locks in’ our not-for-private-profit status, including an ‘asset lock’ written into our Articles of Association. The asset lock is a key part of CIC legislation. It ensures that the assets of the CIC (including any profits or other surpluses generated by its activities) are used for the benefit of the community it is established to serve. Any transfer of assets must satisfy certain requirements, namely:
In our case the asset locked body we have specified to receive any assets in the event that we wind up the company are our friends at The National Community Land Trust Network, a charity that is also working on strategic land issues.
To the outside world not a lot will change besides seeing the letters CIC after our name, but we are excited by this next step in the development of the organisation. It ensures that the way we work aligns with our values and makes us more accountable to our beneficiaries, now and in the future.