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Is incorporating as a legal entity right for your Big Local area?

This one-off workshop aimed to help Big Local areas decide if it’s appropriate for their area, and learn what they need know before you start.

We know that many Big Local areas are thinking about their vision up to 2026 and what their legacy will look like. Although this can take many forms, some partnerships are considering establishing a new organisation to take on the work of the Big Local into the future.

But this is a big step, and although it has many benefits for your partnership, there are important
things to be aware of and make sure everyone understands such as the legal responsibilities that come with it. Is a new organisation, with the requirements for administration and funding, necessarily right for your Big Local area? Are there alternatives you could consider? What needs to inform your decision making and what are the next steps if you decide to go ahead?

This workshop was for Big Local partnerships that:

  • Are thinking about setting up an organisation to manage some/all of the delivery of Big Local, or to continue their work beyond 2026;
  • Want to take more responsibility to manage their funding;
  • May have carried out some feasibility work but are still exploring their options;
  • Have many questions about how incorporation of a new organisation could benefit their
    community but aren’t sure how to answer them; or
  • Want to learn from the experiences of other Big Local areas in establishing new organisations.

In the morning a legal expert explained what the pros and cons of incorporation are, and the responsibilities that come with it. We also discussed what applying for charitable status means for your new organisation, and what else you need to consider if you decide the organisation should or shouldn’t be a charity. We also shared some experience from Big Locals who had and hadn’t decided to incorporate, and what they wished they knew beforehand!

The afternoon helped move forward your own ideas for your Big Local area. It aimed to help you understand what support is available, and what the next steps should be if you decide that incorporation is right for your partnership. We didn’t go into detail about what the different forms of incorporation are or how to apply for them, because this is something you will need to get specialist and tailored advice on once your partnership decide they want to incorporate – though we did give a brief overview and information for your to take away.